During the past few weeks “special-interest” individuals have been churning out false, political rhetoric directed at the Conservative Party chairman and the Conservatives’ candidate for supervisor. While I respect their right to have opinions, they have their facts wrong and, so, I’ll set the record straight prior to the upcoming election so the voters will be well armed with the truth rather than the misguided and politically motivated nonsense they want you to believe.
First and foremost, for the record I have neither solicited, suggested, recommended nor have I ever pursued Gaetana Ciarlante to run for town supervisor. On the contrary, Gaetana Ciarlante contacted me because she had some questions. I accepted her invitation and when we met, she indicated that she had changed her mind about running for the board and had decided to run for supervisor instead. She told me she was fact-finding, and wanted to know what the procedure entailed when someone wanted to seek the Conservative endorsement. I detailed the process to her, advising that she would need to submit her resume to the chairman of the party (at the time, Mark Knaust), which would be followed by scheduled interviews of all the prospective candidates by the party’s search committee.
Subsequent to the interviews by the Search Committee, a caucus was held on Aug. 28. During the caucus, 72 registered Conservatives voted by secret ballot. As a result of the supervisor’s race, the membership overwhelmingly, and by a 3-1 margin, supported Gaetana Ciarlante for town supervisor with 54 votes over Kelly Myers’ 17 votes. Their voice was “loud and clear,” the membership wanted Gaetana Ciarlante as their supervisor candidate.
At no time prior to or during the caucus did Gaetana Ciarlante (or any other candidate) receive any special treatment, promises or guarantees from me or any other member of our party or Search Committee. Every single candidate was treated the same as any other, and they all had the same opportunity for our endorsement. So, notwithstanding accusations by any special interest groups or individuals to the contrary, Gaetana Ciarlante was not hand-picked by me or another member of our Party. Any such suggestion or accusation is totally and definitely untrue.
In addition to the overwhelming support for Gaetana Ciarlante for town supervisor, the membership also endorsed Republican candidates Bill Schirmer, Jim Bruno, Dan Lamb, Lisa Stanley, Doug Myer and Independence Party member Suzie Filak (receiver of taxes).
On behalf of the Town of Saugerties Conservative Party, I ask voters on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5, to please support the “Conservative Team” for town board: Gaetana Ciarlante (town supervisor); Bill Schirmer and Jim Bruno (town board); Dan Lamb (town justice); Lisa Stanley (town clerk); Doug Myer (highway superintendent); and Suzi Filak (receiver of taxes), the team that will not disappoint Saugerties’ residents.
And, P.S., for the record, I am not interested in being a judge—neither now nor in the future!
Chairman, Town of Saugerties Conservative Party