Ulster County Judge Don Williams to step down

Judge Donald Williams (photo by Dan Barton)

Ulster County Court Judge Don Williams announced today that he will not seek reelection.

In the decision to make this his last term, Williams joins District Attorney Holley Carnright and County Executive Mike Hein, both of whom announced their departures since 2019 began. Williams was elected in 2009; Carnright and Hein in 2008. And these departures follow fast on the heels the defeat of sheriff Paul Van Blarcum last November, another decade-long officeholder.

All of a sudden, there’s change afoot at the highest levels of Ulster County government.


Hein’s resignation took effect last Sunday. He left to take a state job as commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Several Democrats have since announced their candidacies to replace him.

Williams and Carnright, both Republicans, will serve out their terms. Two Democrats previously announced plans to run for their offices: attorney Brian Rounds for judge and attorney Dave Clegg for DA.

Williams sent this letter to local media announcing his decision Friday afternoon:

I have been honored to serve as county judge for the past nine years. Every day when I come to the courthouse I appreciate the trust that has been placed in me to do justice to all that appear before the court.

After careful consideration, I have decided not to seek reelection. This is unquestionably one of the most difficult decisions I have ever been compelled to make. Serving the people of Ulster County has been the focus of my entire career as an Assistant District Attorney, District Attorney, and now County Judge. I have never taken one day for granted and truly appreciate the opportunities I have had to give back to the community where I was born and raised.

Very truly yours,

Donald A. Williams


There are 2 comments

  1. JamaicaonHudson

    Hector Rodriquez (following Joel Tyner’s resignation) is also deciding not to run again…Which, added to today’s announcement, is welcome news.

    Contrary to popular belief, change is NOT bad. Change allows both the old to reflect and the new to act. It’s cleansing (for both sides). Yep, the Jeffersonian generation is pretty darn cool…

  2. George Airday

    Judge Williams exemplified the best and highest standards for government service. Ulster County is diminished by his retirement.

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