Democratic primary: Figueroa, James and Cuomo win; turnout high

Juan Figueroa and Paul VanBlarcum

Juan Figueroa trounced incumbent Paul VanBlarcum 82 percent to 18 percent to win the Democratic nomination for Ulster County sheriff, setting the stage for a lively general election campaign for Ulster’s top cop.

All results are unofficial at this time, and do not include absentee or affidavit ballots.

Elsewhere in local races, Rosendale Councilwoman Jen Metzger defeated community organizer Pramilla Malick for the 42nd State Senate seat, 58 percent to 37 percent, and Newburgh city councilman Jonathan Jacobson defeated four other candidates for the 104th assembly district, earning 26 percent of the vote.

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Statewide, in the attorney general race, New York City public advocate Letitia James won with 40 percent of the vote, followed by law school professor and former congressional and gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout (30 percent) District 18 congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (24 percent) and attorney Leecia R. Eve (3 percent).

Andrew Cuomo

In the governor’s race, incumbent Andrew Cuomo defeated actress Cynthia Nixon with 66 percent of the vote.

Turnout was very high for a primary. Compare the governor’s race total in Ulster, where candidates received 16,208 votes yesterday and 6884 in 2014.

The vote total this year works out to a turnout of 35 percent in Ulster, well above the usual 15 or 20 percent.

Statewide, turnout was double the 2014 total, suggesting strong Democratic enthusiasm. A test of that enthusiasm with national impact will come November 6 in the closely watched 19th congressional district, where Democratic challenger Antonio Delgado is hoping to oust freshman Republican John Faso, considered one of the more vulnerable House GOP members. Polls show the two in a dead heat.

In the sheriff’s race, the lopsided results mirrored the outcome at the party’s nominating convention in May. Third-term incumbent sheriff Paul VanBlarcum, a Democrat, came under fire from members of his own party for a number of statements and actions, including: instituting a short-lived policy checking all visitors to the Department of Social Services for warrants, calling on permitted gun owners to carry in public after a mass shooting, urging a boycott of the NFL because he felt players kneeling during the national anthem was disrespectful and meeting with President Donald Trump in the oval office during Police Week last year. VanBlarcum previously received the Republican and Conservative nominations (as he did in 2014).

His opponent, Juan Figueroa, is a former state trooper and marine who lives in Plattekill. He will appear on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines.

 

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