New Paltz Town Supervisor Neil Bettez easily turned aside challenger Marty Irwin during his first reelection campaign; he will now be the first supervisor of New Paltz to serve a four-year term, thanks to a ballot referendum passed last year. Town board member Daniel Torres also retained his seat, and newcomer David Brownstein beat the remaining town board candidate, Jennifer Ippolito, by well more than a thousand votes. This was the first year that Democrats selected their candidates using a primary rather than a caucus, and the old adage that whoever holds the D line in New Paltz wins the race was proven true again. MaryAnn Tozzi, who ran on the self-created Crosswalk Party for town supervisor, also fell short of victory.
“I’m happy,” Bettez said when reached by phone, and “glad the voters think we’re on the right track. I’m excited and I’m really glad I have a four-year term. We now have the opportunity to do some projects that are more in depth, focus on issues that matter instead of campaigning. Two-year terms tend to make you focus on short-term projects, and the longer-term ones tend to fall by the wayside. I’m hoping we can start tackling budgets in a longer term way as well, working with highway superintendent [Chris] Marx,” who ran unopposed and will now also enjoy four years in office.
Torres, with 2,501 votes in the unofficial tally, said he believed he received the highest number of votes for a town council seat in New Paltz’s history.
Town justice Jonathan Katz was also reelected easily against opponent Celeste Tesoriero.