Caucusing cooperatively, members of the Democratic party in the Town of Lloyd selected their candidates without controversy, or the need for any but symbolic votes. All told, it was one of the friendliest caucuses one could attend, complete with chilled bottles of water to guard against the July heat wave, and homemade cupcakes and other baked goods to keep hunger at bay during the proceedings, which lasted a scant 27 minutes. No more candidates were nominated than there are town jobs up for a vote this November 2, so in each case caucus secretary Rose Sinagra cast a single vote in favor of granting the ballot line to the individual. The slate is a mix of incumbents and challengers: Claire Winslow shall seek to unseat town supervisor Paul Hansut, Richard Klotz will try to turn away a challenge for highway superintendent by three-time candidate Leonard Auchmoody, and incumbent Mike Guerriero will be joined by political newcomer Joseph Mazzetti in the race for the two open town council seats. Only justice Eugene Rizzo is getting a pass for campaigning this season, as he has been endorsed by both major party caucuses.
Town clerk Rosaria Peplow, who is not running this year, offered Rizzo’s nomination. She recalled first running with this “young attorney” in 1985, and said that his service to the town has been outstanding. “He will take the call at 2 a.m. for an arraignment, go back to bed and then get up for another one at 5 a.m.,” she said. When a local town justice cannot be found for an arraignment, police must seek one in an adjacent town, adding to the time and expense of providing defendants with due process. Rizzo thanked his wife in particular, noting that the phone is on her side of the bed.
Mike Guerriero was described by his nominator, Anthony Prizzia, as having to “contend with the wrath of a Republican board” as the lone Democrat now serving on that body. “He has endured harassment, ridicule and threats,” Prizzia said, but “is not afraid to vote against motions” that he does not feel are in the best interest of town residents. “His character is flawless,” Prizzia said, before urging those in attendance to write letters in support of his candidacy. For his part, Guerriero called his first term “a learning process,” and said that the experience would make him more effective if reelected.
Joseph Mazzetti is a lifelong resident of the town who works as an assistant principle in the Poughkeepsie school district, said Scott McCarthy during his nominating speech. In accepting the nomination, Mazzetti promised to bring the budgeting experience as a school administrator to bear on town issues, and emphasized his commitment to family and children. “As a kid growing up here, there was no better place to live,” he said. He also stressed that “all voices are important,” and that he would listen to constituent concerns as a town council member.
Echoing things said about other candidates, Joanne Lesser said that Richard Klotz is a lifelong resident of the town who has demonstrated a commitment to the job of highway superintendent at all hours of the day. “He always responds to calls, during and after hours,” she said. The town highway department and transfer station run smoothly because of his leadership, Lesser said, although Klotz was clear that his effectiveness is due in large part to the support of his secretary and highway crew.
Restaurateur Claire Winslow was described by Kathleen Morales as someone who “shows compassion” and is “well-liked.” Yet another lifetime resident, Winslow received three standing ovations: one when she was nominated, another when she rose to address the gathered attendees and once more at the end of her remarks. She said that she has been receiving encouragement to run for some months, and has now committed to vying for the job of supervisor. She commended Mike Guerriero for his work, and said that electing more Democrats would “get real fairness” and “balance” into the deliberations of the Town Board.
County legislative candidates Jonathan Ridgeway, running in district 9, and Gary Pregno, for 10, were also present and made brief remarks.