Saugerties Dems choose Chris Kraft as town justice nominee

Chris Kraft (photo by Christina Coulter)

Attorney Chris Kraft got the endorsement of the Saugerties Democratic Party for Town Justice after earning over 50 percent of votes between three candidates at June 5’s Democratic caucus.

He will run on the Democratic party line in November’s general election. Other election candidates endorsed by the Saugerties Democratic Party include Aidan O’Connor for state Assembly, Pat Strong for state Senate and Juan Figueroa for Ulster County sheriff. 

Kraft, 55, said that his aim as town justice would be to “bring objectivity and fairness” to the position and to “carry on in the same manner that Dan Lamb did.”

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Lamb succumbed to a heart attack on Feb. 13 while on a family vacation to the Turks and Caicos Islands. William Myers, who was also nominated as a candidate and has experience with property law and as a public defender, has been serving in the interim. John Stegmayer, who has served as both a public defender and a family court support magistrate, was nominated for the position as well, by previous Town Justice Wendy Ricks.

Both Myers and Stegmayer lauded the qualities of kindness and compassion in their two-minute speeches to Saugerties’ attending Democrats. These justice hopefuls can still seek the endorsement of the Republican, Independence, Conservative or Working Families parties before November, or file petitions to compete in a September primary for the Democratic nod. 

In contrast, Kraft had the shortest spiel of the three, and refused to use a microphone. Nominated by Amy Hawk, he specializes in disability law at his Kingston practice, Dall Vechia and Kraft, P.C. According to those who nominated him, he is a farmer and musician in his spare time.

The justice’s pay is $28,250 per year.

Although the opportunity was available, no one challenged incumbent Councilman Mike MacIsaac for a seat on the town board.

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