JULY 31, 2014, 7:00PM Colgate Inn Rathskellar
GUEST SPEAKER: HON. JOHN SULLIVAN, UPSTATE DIRECTOR OF THE CUOMO FOR GOVERNOR CAMPAIGN, FORMER MAYOR OF THE CITY OF OSWEGO, FORMER ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL IN CHARGE OF WATERTOWN, AND CURRENT POLITICAL COLUMNIST FOR A NUMBER OF NEWSPAPERS
Go to Our Party/Organization/County Committee for a look at the new web page that lists by Election District all the current Members of the Madison County Democratic Committee and its Party Officials who can be contacted by email or phone.
Current Committee Members must pass a nominating petition for another two-year term. Contact your Town or City Chair by email or phone with the names of other Democrats who would be interested in filling a vacant committee position or replacing a committee member who cannot serve for another term.
At an April 16 meeting of the Madison County Democratic Committee in the Rathskellar at Hamilton’s Colgate Inn, candidates for election to the NY State Legislature were heard and endorsements were decided.
After being questioned about issues in the state as well as the role of the Independent Democratic Conference, incumbent David Valesky was endorsed by acclamation in his campaign for a sixth term in the NY State Senate representing the 53rd Senate district.
Candidate Michael Hennessy of Sherrill, NY was endorsed by a paper ballot vote for the Assembly seat representing the 121st Assembly district. Hennessy had presented his “Fix Albany” agenda, characterizing his record in the Oneida County Legislature as socially progressive and fiscally conservative. He recognized the long service of Assemblyman William Magee, but looking forward to a primary, said, “it’s time we debate our differences, enlighten the voters and strengthen our party by having five debates throughout the district.”
Hennessy said that he would support enactment of a raise in the minimum wage, the full women’s equality agenda, equitable funding for education throughout the state, campaign finance reform, the “dream act,” and term limits. He indicated that he would have agreed with past legislative actions to support marriage equality as well as healthcare reform and that he would work for amendment, but not repeal, of the SAFE act. In answering a question, he opposed hydrofracking on the basis of current evidence, saying that it would deeply affect this region’s “life style” by increasing heavy industrial road use as well as threatening environmental quality. Hennessy also called for strong efforts toward economic development that would support agriculture and dairy farming as well as other businesses in Central New York.
Michael Oot of Stockbridge, Chair of the Madison County Democratic Committee, said, "It was an interesting meeting. It was clear that the entire committee holds a deep affection for Assemblyman Magee, but took seriously Mr. Hennessy's pledge to support the Party platform; and today, issues matter. I'm pleased to say that the Committee pledged to unite and support the endorsed candidate."
Read the Oneida Daily Dispatch coverage, Madison County Democrats endorse Hennessy over Magee in 121st Assembly race.
Congratulations to Sheriff Allen Riley on his re-election to a second four-year term! As a popular, highly regarded former State Trooper known throughout the county, Al had easily won his first term in the hotly contested high turnout election of 2009. Al’s campaign helped Bill Owens eke out a hair-thin victory in his three-way race to become the first Democratic Congressman from the North County since before the Civil War. Al’s four-year record of reforming the county jail and improving the county-wide Sheriff’s patrols while reducing costs won him also the Conservative endorsement. He cruised to victory without an opponent in a low turnout election.
Ann Jones, the Democratic candidate for County Clerk, was the victim of this low turn-out election. She faced the challenge of running against the Republican Deputy County Clerk from the Democratic stronghold of Hamilton where Denise Roe is well known and liked. Ann’s vigorous county-wide campaign won the support of numerous voters who are not registered Democrats. She lost by 880 votes, about one-third the size of her support from those other voters. Ann would have bested her opponent’s 6,939 votes had at least 44% of all registered Democrats turned out to vote.
It is a truism that the turnout of your own supporters is the key to winning elections. The county-wide Republican turnout was 43% to the Democrats’ 34%. In Sullivan, the county’s most populous Town with 2,285 registered Democrats, it was only 21%. Turnout is a functions of several factors, foremost the following: (1) the presence of a local Democratic party committee, (2) local Democratic candidates in a contested election that motivates their supporters, (3) the pre-election and election day GOTV efforts of the local Democratic committee and other volunteers. [See Lessons from a Low Democratic Voter Turnout]
An enthusiastic welcome to two new Democratic Town Supervisors, Bill Zupan from Cazenovia and Paul Walrod from Georgetown. They joined our five easily re-elected Supervisors from Hamilton, Lebanon, Nelson and two from Oneida. This increased to seven the Democratic representation on the County Board of Supervisors. Many thanks also to Ray Lewandowski, a highly qualified yet unsuccessful candidate who faced a popular Republican newcomer for Town of Eaton Supervisor. More Democrats should run for Town, City and Village office to offer voters a choice and champion Democratic views and values. Local contests give Democrats a reason to vote, and their turnout helps other Democratic candidates win their races. All politics is local! [See Madison County Supervisors and Municipal Governments]
Three new Town Clerks, Sue Reymers (Hamilton), Nicole Viera (Lebanon) and Jeanne Mitchell (Lincoln), who was elected as a People’s Choice candidate, join two re-elected Democratic Town Clerks in Brookfield and Eaton.
The Village elections in the county’s non-college towns were held on March 18, 2014. In Canastota and Chittenango no Democrats volunteered as candidates. In Munnsville Howard Love and Pamela Mitchell were re-elected as Village Trustees. Amy Worlock won her first term as Village Trustee in DeRuyter after having been unsuccessful as a write-in candidate for the Town Council. Congratulations! Earlville Village Trustee Sara DuVal did not seek re-election but was replaced by write-in candidate Daniel Piliero from the Chenango part of the hapless village divided by two counties and three towns. [Go to Democratic Public Officials/Municipal for the current list of all elected and appointed Democratic public officials in the county’s towns, city and villages]