Primary preview: Who’s on the ballot in Ulster County

Andrew Cuomo and Zephyr Teachout.

Andrew Cuomo and Zephyr Teachout.

More than 37,000 Ulster County Democrats will be eligible to vote in the Tuesday, September 9 primary for offices ranging from state governor and lieutenant governor to county family court judge. Only enrolled party members can vote in primaries. Polling places will be open from noon to 9 p.m.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, Democratic designee for a second term, is being opposed by Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout. Kathy Hochul, a former congresswoman from Erie County, is Cuomo’s running mate for lieutenant governor, but the two offices are being separately contested. Timothy Wu, a Columbia University law professor, is running against Hochul and is teamed up with Teachout in a campaign focused on what they contend have been Cuomo’s failures to follow through on pledges to deal with corruption and campaign finance reform, among other issues.

Interest in Ulster County centers on the three-way race for the Democratic nomination for family court judge. Running for the third judgeship created by the state legislature in June are family court support magistrate John Beisel of Kingston, court clerk Gilda Riccardi of Saugerties and Kingston attorney Kevin Bryant. The Democratic Party chose not to endorse any of the candidates.


Bryant, Beisel and Riccardi are also candidates for the Independence Party and Working Families Party nominations.

Keri Savona of Kingston, a social services department supervising attorney, is the Republican-Conservative nominee. She is contesting the three Democrats for the Independence nomination.

Court candidates are competing for a ten-year term, beginning in January, with an annual salary of $161,000.

There is also a Republican primary in the 101st Assembly District (parts of Wawarsing) currently represented by Claudia Tenney. She is being challenged by Christopher Farber.


Dems’ margin

Almost 60 percent of the county’s enrolled Democrats live in six towns and the city of Kingston. Kingston shows 4819 Democrats, followed by New Paltz (4138), Saugerties (3523), Woodstock (2536) and Wawarsing (2467). The townships of Ulster and Lloyd have just over 2000 Democrats each.

Democrats outnumber Republicans in Ulster County by about 9500 voters. About 33,700 registered voters are not affiliated with any party. The Independence Party has just under 5700 enrollees, compared to 2600 Conservatives and 600 Working Families enrolled.

There is one comment

  1. Edie Gaines

    I would like to point out what the duties of a law clerk are and why Gilda Riccardi is the best choice for the newly created Family Court Judgeship. She has the judicial experience like no other.

    As the personal appointee (Law Clerk) of Family Court Judge Anthony McGinty (9 years). She is responsible for researching and analyzing complex legal issues in areas of family, juvenile, criminal, and civil law; confer with and advise Judge on current law and case-law precedents; draft judicial opinions, decisions and orders; write confidential legal memoranda; conduct pre-trial settlement conferences.

    Gilda has been an attorney for 26 years: 14 years practicing law in Ulster County Family Court with the most recent 9 of those years as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Anthony McGinty in Ulster County Family Court.

    Prior to her appointment as Law Clerk, Gilda had a private practice in Ulster County (5 years) specializing in the representation of children and litigants in Family Court.

    In addition, Gilda is a registered nurse, and practiced as an RN for 10 years prior to attending law school. Her medical knowledge is helpful in the abuse/neglect cases brought in Family Court, in addition to understanding issues of substance abuse and mental illness also at times before the Court.

    Former administrative law judge
    Former manhattan child abuse prosecutor

    Gilda has been appointed to the Family Court Judges Curriculum Committee, the Third Department Appellate Division Committee on Character and Fitness, and is the immediate Past-President of the Ulster County Bar Association.

    Vote for Gilda in the Sept. 9th primary. Your vote is your voice and it counts!

    Together we can help make a difference in the life a child with Gilda at the helm.

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