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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Top Stories > Politics

Republicans sweep to victory: Win Sullivan County Judgeship, County Clerk; tighten grip on Sullivan Legislature

Nov 7, 2019

By Isabel Braverman - staff writer

Republican candidates were feeling confident on Tuesday night. From left are Alan Sorensen, Nicholas Salomone Jr., Joseph Perrello, County Clerk candidate Russell Reeves, County Coroner Alan Kesten, County Court Judge candidate Jim Farrell, Michael Brooks, Luis Alvarez and Rob Doherty.
SULLIVAN — The Sullivan County Republican Party swept to victory on Tuesday night, winning both county-wide races while picking up two seats on the 9-person Sullivan County Legislature to tighten its control on county government.
The race for County Court Judge heated up during the final week of campaigning as Republican Jim Farrell sent out mailers responding to Cynthia Dolan's alleged criticism of his record as District Attorney.
The two candidates went toe-to-toe during the final hours of the campaign but Farrell handily won the race, 8,784-6,368, thereby winning a 10-year term on the bench.
“I want to thank the voters of Sullivan County for supporting me in my race for county court judge,” Farrell said. “They've supported me over the last 10 years over three terms as DA and now for County Court Judge. I can't say enough about the support I've received from the people of this county.

Farrell said that once he is sworn in as the next Sullivan County Court Judge, Chief Assistant District Attorney Meagan Galligan is likely to finish out the remainder of his term.
If appointed, Galligan will become the first female District Attorney in Sullivan County history.
In the race for County Clerk, another tough campaign saw Russell Reeves turn back Democratic hopeful David Sager, 8,857-5,876.
Reeves, who is currently the Deputy County Clerk, will be sworn in on January 1, 2020 and also step down as Town of Liberty Councilman.
The Liberty Town Board will make an appointment to replace Reeves.
legislature races
It appears the legislature will remain in Republican control.
It was guaranteed that there would be three new faces on the legislature, as three of the current legislators decided not to seek reelection.
Now there will be four, as incumbent Democratic candidate Scott Samuelson lost to Republican challenger Rob Doherty 1,268-800 in District 1.
Other races where Republicans won include:
• Michael Brooks' victory over Joseph Colon in District 3, 1,231-617;
• Nicholas Salomone Jr.'s win over Samara Ferris in District 4, 912-710;
• George Conklin III's big victory over Louis J. Setren, 1,278-884 in District 5.
• Legislative Chairman Luis Alvarez's close victory over Miranda P. Behan, 680-573.
Two races for Sullivan County Legislature are still up in the air as candidates in District 7 and District 9 have to wait for absentee ballots to be counted.
According to Sullivan County Board of Elections Commissioner Cora Edwards, the Absentee Ballot Hearing is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, November 19.
In District 7, incumbent Republican Joseph Perrello edged out Democratic hopeful Gene Benson by only 10 votes.
And in District 9 incumbent Republican Alan Sorensen leads Democratic challenger George Nikolados by 19 votes.
The number of outstanding absentee ballots in each district was not available at press time.
At the Democratic Party Election Night Watch at the Liberty Diner on Tuesday night, Benson and Nikolados said they are still feeling good with the races being close and absentees not having been counted.
"I'm still pretty confident," Nikolados said, noting that he believes absentee ballots skew more towards Democratic candidates. "So I still think it's a toss up."
Benson said, “I still think I have a very good chance. I got very positive feedback. It was a lot of work, I knocked on a lot of doors and I had a lot of help. I'm hoping for the best.”
Overall, however, it seems it wasn't the Sullivan County Democratic Party's night to rejoice.
“Obviously I'm disappointed in the results,” said Steven Vegliante, Chairman of the Sullivan County Democratic Committee. “After the election, no matter if you're a winner or a loser, everyone has the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and work toward a better county.
“I congratulate the winners, and my counterpart Chairman [of the Sullivan County Republican Committee] Dick Coombe. They ran a great race. And I look forward to a better Sullivan County, and better days for our party,” he said.
At the Republican watch party at Sorella Pizzeria in Kauneonga Lake, Sullivan County Republican Committee Chairman Dick Coombe was busy moving around the room, reporting the election night results as fast as he could hear them through his phone. There was a certain level of confidence in the room full of Republicans, which only increased as the night drew on.
“We're ecstatic that the people of Sullivan County recognized that the legislature over the past four years was a bipartisan group that worked together in order to make a better and brighter future for Sullivan County,” Coombe said.
“The opposition… had a history of not working together, not getting the job done and not building a jail,” Coombe said.
If Perrello and Sorensen hold on to their wins after absentee ballots are counted, the legislature in January will be Republican controlled 7-2.
Democratic Legislator Ira Steingart ran unopposed, and therefore will hold his seat, and Democratic Legislator Nadia Rajsz beat Kathleen LaBuda, 996-828.
Rajsz ran on both the Democratic and Republican lines and was also endorsed by the Conservative Party.
“I feel like people recognize the job we've done for Sullivan County and how we've been able to move forward,” Chairman Alvarez said. “They [voters] have given us the opportunity to do the job again and we'll work as hard as we've worked the last four years.”
Alvarez recognized that the visitors center was on the minds of many voters when they went to the polls, but praised the work done by the current legislature.
“I don't think everybody realizes how much has been accomplished by this body of legislators and how they've worked together as a team … We need the people to get more involved to understand all that we're doing.”
Alvarez said he's not sure if he'll retain the chairmanship of the 2020 legislature, but said he looks forward to what comes next.
“If I'm (appointed) the chairman, I promise to visit every town again like I've done. I'll listen to them and work with them,” he said.
When the new legislature convenes in January the legislators will choose a Chair and Vice Chair, as well as appoint a new slate of committee members.

Town-wide races

Town of Delaware will have a new supervisor, as current Supervisor Ed Sykes is retiring after two terms. Democratic candidate Steve Lundgren beat Republican hopeful Vincent Alukonis 376-237.
The Town of Mamakating also had a contested race for supervisor as current Supervisor Bill Herrmann is retiring.
Three candidates were on the ballot with Democratic candidate Janet Lybolt beating Republican candidate Ralph Tunno II, 1,069-930 and Rural Heritage candidate Brenda Giraldi, who only garnered 523 votes. Giraldi, who currently sits on the board and is deputy supervisor, will lose her spot come January, 2020.
In Tusten, current Supervisor Carol Wingert also stepped aside and Republican Bernard “Ben” Johnson defeated Democratic challenger Kevin McDonough 258-181. The race for town council will likely be decided by absentee ballot votes as incumbent Democratic councilwoman Brandi Merolla is ahead of Republican challenger Bernard Lohmann by just 7 votes, 228-221. Bruce Gettel, who ran on the Democratic and Republican tickets, will also be on the Tusten Town Board by virtue of his 382 votes.
And the never-ending question over who will be tax collector in Town of Bethel has been resolved, as Debra Holt Gabriel (Democratic) won with 639 votes against 167 write-in votes for Susan Brown Otto.

2019 Election Results (Unofficial)
Winners are in BOLD
(Vote for any three)
• John C. Egan, Jr. (DEM, REP, CON, IND) - 11,582
• Michael C. Lynch (DEM, REP, WOR, IND) - 10,875
• Justin Corcoran (DEM, IND) - 5,193
• Linda Blom Johnson (REP, CON) - 7,005
• Cynthia Dolan (DEM, WOR, LBT) - 6,368
• James R. Farrell (REP, CON, IND) - 8,784
• David A. Sager (DEM, WOR) - 5, 876
• Russell Reeves (REP, CON, IND) - 8,857
• Alan S. Kesten (REP, CON, IND) - 11,117
District 1
• Scott B. Samuelson (DEM) - 800
• Robert A. Doherty (REP, CON, IND) - 1,268
District 2
• Nadia Rajsz (DEM, REP, WOR) - 996
• Kathleen M. LaBuda (CON, IND) - 828
District 3
• Joseph J. Colón (DEM) - 617
• Michael Brooks (REP, CON, IND) - 1, 231
District 4
• Samara Ferris (DEM, RH1) - 710
• Nicholas M. Salomone, Jr. (REP, CON, IND) - 912
District 5
• Louis J. Setren (DEM, RUR) - 884
• George E. Conklin III (REP, CON, IND) - 1,278
District 6
• Miranda P. Behan (DEM, WOR) - 573
• Luis Alvarez (REP, IND) - 680
District 7
• Gene Benson (DEM, WOR) - 608
• Joseph B. Perrello, Sr. (REP, CON, IND) - 618
District 8
• Ira M. Steingart (DEM, CON) - 877
District 9
• George Nikolados (DEM) - 773
• Alan J. Sorensen (REP, CON, IND) - 792
Town Supervisor
• Daniel S. Sturm (DEM, CON, IND) - 731
Town Clerk
• Rita J. Sheehan (REP, CON, IND) - 774
Town Justice
• Cindy L. Barber (DEM, CON, WOR, IND) - 597
• Susan M. Harte (REP) - 420
Town Council (Vote for any Two)
• Bernard Cohen (DEM, CON, IND) - 745
• Victoria L. Simpson (DEM, CON, IND) - 697
Superintendent of Highways
• Robert Bonnaci, Jr. (DEM, CON) - 539
• James P. Crowley, Jr. (REP) - 461
Tax Collector
• Debra Holt Gabriel (DEM, CON) - 639
Town Supervisor
• Thomas R. Bose (REP, CON, IND) - 676
Town Clerk
• Kim Klein (REP, CON, IND) - 761
Town Justice
• James Tuffy Hubert (REP, CON, IND) - 707
Town Council (Vote for any two)
• Christopher Hubert (REP, CON, IND) - 628
• David Kuebler (REP, CON, IND) - 552
• Andrew Hahn (DEM) - 378
Superintendent of Highways
• Kristofer P. Scullion (REP, CON, IND) - 718
Town Supervisor
• Gary D. Maas (REP, CON, IND) - 308
Town Council (Vote for any two)
• Edwin P. Grund (REP, CON, IND) - 317
• Michael Walter (REP, CON) - 284
Superintendent of Highways
• Kevin R. Esselman (REP, CON, IND) - 330
Tax Collector
• Eileen Hennessy (DEM, REP, CON) - 356
Town Supervisor
• Steve Lundgren (DEM) - 376
• Vincent G. Alukonis (REP, CON, IND) - 237
Town Clerk
• Tess McBeath (DEM) - 507
Town Justice
• Charles A. Nystrom (REP, CON, IND) - 465
Town Council (Vote for any Two)
• Cindy Herbert (REP, CON, IND) - 405
• Christopher Hermann (DEM) - 363
Superintendent of Highway
• William G. Eschenberg (REP, CON) - 464

Town Supervisor
• Steven Vegliante (DEM, CON, IND) - 1,247
Town Justice
• Amanda R. Ward (REP, CON, IND) - 1,268
Town Council (Vote for any two)
• Joe Levner (DEM, CON, IND) - 1,222
• M. Rebecca Pratt (DEM, CON, IND) - 1,212
• Andrew Hahn (DEM) - 378
Village Trustee
Write-in names are not yet available for the Village of Woodridge Trustee positions.
The results will be posted on the Sullivan County BOE website after the election is certified.
Town Supervisor
• Daniel S. Hogue, Jr. (DEM, CON, IND) - 212
• Sandra Burke (REP) - 80
Town Clerk/Tax Collector
• Joanne K. Nagoda (REP, CON) - 220
Town Justice
• Leroy C. Gunther (REP, CON) - 208
Town Council (Vote for any Two)
• Steve Budofsky (DEM, CON) - 173
• John W. Galligan (DEM) - 165
• Susan Hawvermale (REP, CON) - 141
Superintendent of Highways
• Joseph Ruggeri (REP, CON) - 211
• Todd C. Petrowsky (DEM) - 88
Town Supervisor
• Brian P. Brustman (REP) - 263
Town Clerk/Tax Collector
• Diane Hess (REP) - 258
Town Council (Vote for any Two) • John C. Meyer (DEM) - 216
• Paul Kellam (DEM) - 204
Superintendent of Highways
• Scott Herbert (REP) - 250

Town Supervisor
• Donald Jeff Haas (DEM, REP, CON, IND) - 452
Town Council (Vote for any Two)
• Frederick E. Bosch (DEM, REP, IND) - 433
• James P. Gutekunst (DEM) - 311
Superintendent of Highways
• Thomas H. Ebers (DEM, CON) - 426
Town Supervisor
• Francis J. DeMayo (REP, CON, IND) - 1,223
Town Clerk/Tax Collector
• Laurie A. Dutcher (REP, CON, IND) - 1,146
• Richard E. Altman (DEM, UNI) - 454
Town Council (Vote for any Two)
• Vincent J. McPhillips (REP, CON, IND) - 964
• Dean R. Farrand (REP, CON, IND) - 904
• Lilliam Stettner (DEM, UNI) - 579
• Elliott M. Schneider (DEM) - 494
Town Justice
• Craig W. Cherry (REP, CON, IND) - 319
• Thomas Brucher (DEM) - 151

Town Council (Vote for any Two)
• Karen M. Warden (REP, CON) - 340
• Leigh A. Sherman (REP, CON) - 340
Town Supervisor
• Janet M. Lybolt (DEM, CON) - 1,068
• Ralph Bo Tunno II (REP, IND) - 930
• Brenda J. Giraldi (RH1) - 523
Town Clerk/Tax Collector
• Jean M. Dougherty (REP) - 1,822
Councilman Ward 1
• Eileen Rogers (DEM, RH1) - 244
• Carl R. Bonitz (REP, IND) - 196
Councilman Ward 2
• Gary A. Forthoffer (REP, CON, IND) - 182
• Graham Vest (DEM, RH1) - 179
Councilman Ward 3
• John S. Lacey (REP, CON, IND) - 227
• Matthew P. Mordas (DEM, RH1) - 204
Councilman Ward 4
• James K. Carney (REP, IND) - 190
• Julius I. Greenberg (DEM, CON) - 149
• Fred R. Harding, Jr. (RH1) - 119
Councilman Ward 5
• Thomas M. Morrow (REP, CON, IND) - 258
• Patrick S. Keller (DEM, RH1) - 148
Councilman Ward 6
• John A. Crudo, Jr. (REP) - 271
• William H. Conley (DEM, RH1) - 94
Superintendent of Highways
• Robert Huffy Hufcut (REP, CON, IND) - 1, 583
• Riley J. Buddy Platt III (DEM) - 929
Tax Collector
• Janet M. Evans (REP, IND) - 1,911
Town Supervisor
• Christopher J. Mathews (REP, CON, IND) - 718
• Kenneth Walter (DEM) - 222
Town Clerk/Tax Collector
• Lisa M. Garigliano (DEM, REP, CON, IND) - 830
Town Justice
• Brent W. Gotsch (REP, IND) - 578
• Jerry C. Stevens (DEM) - 332
Town Council (Vote for any Two)
• Keith R. Zanetti (REP) - 728
• Nicole M. Gorr (REP, CON, IND) - 719
Superintendent of Highways
• Preston Kelly (DEM, REP, CON, IND) - 915
Town Supervisor
• Robert W. Eggleton (DEM, IND) - 519

Town Council (Vote for any Two)
• Christine N. Routledge (DEM) - 453
• Andrew C. McRell (DEM) - 436
• Mark A. Zeininger (REP, IND) - 363
Superintendent of Highways
• Theodore W. Hartling (DEM, REP, CON) - 700
Town Supervisor
• William J. Rieber, Jr. (DEM, CON) - 1,788

Town Justice
• Sharon L. Jankiewicz (REP, CON, IND) - 1,815

Town Council
(Vote for any Two)
• Scott S. Mace (REP, CON, IND) - 1,673
• Ryan T. Schock (DEM, CON) - 1,125
• Chet Smith (REP, BES) - 952
• Marlena S. Benjamin (IND) - 290

Tax Collector
• Doreen L. Pere-Huebner (REP, CON, IND) - 1,750
Town Supervisor
• Bernard R. Johnson (REP, CON) - 258
• Kevin McDonough (DEM, COM) - 181
• Carol Ropke Wingert (IND) - 18

Town Council
(Vote for any Two)
• Bruce Gettel (DEM, REP, CON) - 382
• Brandi Merolla (DEM, IND) - 228
• Bernard Lohmann (REP, CON) - 221
Superintendent of Highways
• Donald Neiger (REP, CON, IND) - 364

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