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Preparing for November’s Election

HARLEM VALLEY — Summer is nearing an end and November will be here sooner than some might imagine. With fall comes election season and all of the preparations political hopefuls must make to get onto the ballot and into office.

Around the Harlem Valley there have been caucuses, of which there will be more, as well as some primaries. As is the pattern in area towns and villages, a number of candidates have been cross-endorsed by both parties, while others are running as Independents. Following is a rundown of who plans to run for what come Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8.

North East

The Democratic Party in the town of North East held its caucus on Saturday, Aug. 27. There was a larger-than-normal turnout, with 68 Democrats present.

There are five positions up for election in North East this year: town supervisor, two councilmen seats, town clerk and town justice.

At the Democratic caucus, nine-term incumbent town Supervisor Dave Sherman, a Republican, was chosen to be cross-endorsed in his run for a 10th two-year term. The longtime politician has already spent 18 years serving as North East’s supervisor.

Sherman, who received 38 votes of support in his bid for the nomination, was challenged at the caucus by John Merwin, who received 29 votes. Merwin is a former Webutuck school teacher and union leader who has served on both the North East and Amenia town boards, for four-year terms each time.

“The contest between John Merwin and Dave Sherman for the supervisor endorsement was definitely a factor in the large turnout we  got,” said the chair of the Democratic Committee for North East, Jon Arnason. “The discussion was civil and respectful and I believe the process worked well.”

In the Republican Party, the race for the town supervisor’s seat is uncontested; Sherman is the only nominee.

For the councilmen seats, Ralph Fedele and Jon Arnason were nominated at the Democratic caucus. The councilman position is for a four-year term.

Incumbent Town Clerk Nancy Davis-Vialpando was nominated by the Democrats to run for a fourth term in office. She has already served six years as town clerk; each term is for two years. Davis-Vialpando will also be running as an Independent. There is no Republican nominee running for the town clerk position in 2012.

Town Justice John Crodelle, another incumbent, was also endorsed by the Democrats to seek another term. Crodelle, who is actually a registered Republican, also will be on the GOP line on the ballot. He’s running for his third four-year term.

The only contested race for the Republican primary, meanwhile, will have three nominees vying for the councilmen slots on the November ballot: incumbent Dave McGhee (who served as councilman in the 1980s and then rejoined the board in the 1990s, where he has since remained), Planning Board member Chip Barrett and George Kaye.

 The North East Republican primary will be on Tuesday, Sept. 13.


 There are six open positions in the Amenia government: town supervisor, town sole assessor, town clerk, town justice and two town council members.

The Amenia Republican primary will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 13, to determine the Republican candidate for the race for town supervisor and town sole assessor. The polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m. at the Amenia Town Hall, the Wassaic firehouse and the VFW on Route 22.

The primary will determine whether current Councilwoman Victoria Perotti or Planning Board Chairman William Flood will be on the Republican ticket for town supervisor.

Perotti is also backed by the Conservative and Independence parties.

Janet Reagon is the only Democratic candidate for town supervisor.

There are two council seats open on the Town Board. Incumbent Vicki Doyle is backed by the Democratic Party. CJ Hoss is backed by both the Democrats and the Working Families Party. Incumbent Norman Cayea is the only Republican candidate.

Since Perotti’s term as a council member is not finished, if she is elected town supervisor, the Town Board will vote to appoint someone to take her seat.

The Republican primary will also determine whether Lawrence Moore or Brad Rebillard will be the Republican candidate for town sole assessor. Rebillard is also backed by the Conservative and Independence parties.

Incumbent Ron Gazzoli is the Democratic candidate running for town sole assessor.

Incumbent Town Clerk Maureen Bonds, who is backed by the Republican and Conservative parties, is running uncontested for that position.

Republican-backed Norman Moore is running uncontested for the town justice.

Pine Plains

There are eight positions open in Pine Plains: town supervisor, town clerk, town justice, superintendent of highways, two town council members and two town assessors.

Nearly all of the incumbents will be running for re-election.

The Pine Plains Republican Party will hold its caucus at the Pine Plains Town Hall (3284 Route 199) on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m.

The Pine Plains Democrats have rescheduled their caucus for Friday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. The caucus will be held at the Heart of Pine Plains Community Center, which is located on the second floor of the new library on South Main Street.

The Republican Party is endorsing incumbent Gregg Pulver for town supervisor.

The Democrats will not confirm their endorsement for town supervisor until after their caucus.

Incumbents Bob Couse and George Keeler will both be backed by the Republican Party for the open seats on the town council. The Democrats are endorsing Jim Jackson.

The head of the Democratic Party, Kathleen Augustine, said that the party may have additional candidates to endorse for town council after their caucus.

There are three candidates nominated for the two open assessor positions. The Republicans are endorsing incumbent Clarence “Rick” Chapman. The Democrats are endorsing Rich Diaz. Incumbent Jim Mara will be backed by both the Republicans and the Democrats.

Incumbent Christi Acker will be running uncontested for the position of town justice. She is endorsed by both the Republicans and the Democrats.

Incumbent Judy Harpp, who is backed by the Republican Party, is running uncontested for the town clerk position.

    Republican-backed incumbent Barry Hay is running uncontested for the position of highway superintendent.

Washington and Millbrook

Both the town of Washington and the village of Millbrook hold their elections in November; the village had to pass a law for the right to do so as typically village elections are in the spring.

This year the town of Washington has two councilman seats up for election, as well as the town supervisor position, the highway superintendent and the town justice position.

The Republican caucus is set for Thursday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. at 18 Washington Ave. in Millbrook; anyone can attend but only registered Republicans can vote for which candidates end up the ballot in November.  

The Democratic caucus has also been set for Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall. Again, candidates for the town and village positions will be nominated for the Nov. 8 general elections.

Once the two caucuses are held, the final candidates for the November elections will be decided and later reported in The Millerton News.

Some candidates who want to ensure they get onto the November ballot, either with or without the support of the major political parties, have gone through the petition process to get on the ballot as Independents, under their own party lines. Additionally, oftentimes candidates are cross-endorsed by political parties other than their own.

For the 2012 elections, several longtime politicians in the town of Washington stepped forward.

On the Washington First Party line, former longtime Millbrook mayor, Gary Ciferri, a Republican, is running for the two-year term as town supervisor. Current village Trustee Stan Morse is also running for town supervisor. Morse, a Republican, is running under the Citizens for Public Responsibility as an independent; he is also expected to be cross-endorsed by the Democratic Party.

Robert Audia is running as an incumbent for councilman; he is a part of the Washington First Party. Karen Mosca is also running for election under the Washington First Party. She joined the Town Board when completing the unexpired term of Councilman William Murphy, who resigned April 14. Mosca must now run for election to serve out the remainder of that position. Albert Debonis will be joining the race for the councilman seat, also as a part of the Washington First Party. Jeff Giardina, a Republican, is also vying for councilman; he is hoping to be endorsed by the Democratic Party.

The town clerk position is up for election as well; incumbent Mary Alex will be running for another  four-year term on the Washington First Party line. Highway Superintendent James Brownell, who is running to remain in office and serve another four-year term, will also appear on the Washington First Party line. Elizabeth Shequine, a Republican and eight-term incumbent, is looking to continue to serve as town justice. If successful, it will be her ninth four-year term in office.

In the village there are three positions up for election, including the mayor’s and two trustees’ seats.

Mayor Laura Hurley, who just completed her first partial term after former Mayor Andrew Ciferri resigned, is running for her first full-term in office.

Meanwhile, the village trustee positions are also up for grabs. Mike Herzog will be running for one of the positions under the independent Community Service Party. Thomas Whalen, a second-term incumbent, is running for his third term. Former mayor, Andrew Ciferri, and Peter Manzi-Doro are also running for the village trustee seats.

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