Saugerties party caucus results

While most will be thinking about Romney or Obama on Nov. 6, there will be some local races down the ticket. Saugerties Democrats nominated Suzi Filak as its candidate for receiver of taxes and Claudia Andreassen town justice. Republicans nominated Kenneth Gilligan town justice and Cheryl DeForest receiver of taxes.

The caucuses were held a week apart;Republicans on July 24 and Democrats July 31.

The winner of the general election for town justice will serve through 2014. The winner of the election for receiver of taxes will serve one year, the balance of the retiring Peg Nau’s term. The full term for receiver of taxes is four years.

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The convention may have been the second-largest ever, said Democratic Party chairman Mike Harkavy, with 203 votes cast. The rules for the convention specify that the vote totals for each candidate not be given out. Harkavy estimated that some 250 people attended the convention, as members of other parties or independent voters often attend party conventions as observers.

Filak was unopposed for the receiver of taxes position, in which she has served since Peg Nau retired at the end of June.

Andreassen has served as Town Justice since May 23, following her appointment on May 11 to fill the unexpired term of Wendy Ricks, who has taken a job with Ulster County. She is retired from the New York State Probation Department after 25 years and has taken many courses in criminal justice in connection with her work. She defeated Lanny Walter, an attorney with more than 40 years of varied experience in both criminal and civil law, for the Democratic nomination.

Andreassen noted that 72 percent of town judges in New York State are not attorneys.

Under rules adopted at the Republican convention only members of the party could be nominated, Republican Chairman Joseph Roberti said. Both Andreassen and Filak had some support among Republicans, he acknowledged, but said some of that support may have been based on a lack of knowledge of Andreassen’s party affiliation.

Andreassen’s bid for the Working Families Party nomination was quashed by a successful challenge to her petitions for that party by Gilligan. But was successful in securing the Independence Party nomination.

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