Democrat Susan Zimet has announced her intention to challenge nine-term incumbent Kevin Cahill, D-Kingston, for the 103rd District for state Assembly.
Currently the town supervisor in New Paltz, Zimet also served in the Ulster County Legislature from 2003 to 2011. Zimet began her political career in the 1990s as an activist fighting against a proposed Wal-Mart in New Paltz. She parlayed that into a run for town supervisor in 1996.
She’s also been an advocate for property tax reform, she opposes high-volume hydraulic fracturing as a method of natural gas exploration and she’d like to take on corruption in Albany.
“As a problem solver, it is important for me to see results,” said Zimet, in a release announcing her run. “The issues we care passionately about are not being addressed properly in Albany now. Instead of flowers, ‘for sale’ signs are sprouting up around our district. People cannot afford Albany politics anymore and it’s time for a change.”
Cahill, who has a typically loyal Democratic base in Ulster County, angered county lawmakers last year by not pushing for Ulster County to receive an extra one percent of sales tax. County Executive Mike Hein estimated that it has created a revenue shortfall of perhaps as much as $5.4 million.
In 2012, Zimet came back to the New Paltz Town Board for a second stab at being supervisor — after leaving the county government. She recently won re-election to a new two-year term.
Back in 2006, she ran unsuccessfully for state Senate against John Bonacic.
“Our district needs a representative who can work cooperatively to fulfill the needs of the constituents, putting them before politics,” she added.
Deputy supervisor Jeff Logan said he’s all for Susan Zimet heading to the capital, should that be the will of the voters.
“I fully support Susan going to Albany and representing our portion of the Hudson Valley. Her time as supervisor had shown she can pull together a fiscal mess, balance a budget, reduce taxes, streamline our departments and successfully and fully defend environmental protections — all in three years,” Logan said.
The deputy supervisor added: “Susan’s support of the environment and real tax reforms will make a difference in Albany. And if we are going to get a change or reform in the property tax system — that we all struggle with — I am sure she will make her voice heard.”
The 103rd District encompasses most of Ulster County, but also Rhinebeck and Red Hook over in Dutchess County, too.