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.
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.