Saugerties Republicans set to pick candidates for town positions

The Saugerties Republican Party will hold its caucus at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 4 at the Frank Greco Senior Center, 207 Market Street, choosing nominees at that time for two town board seats available and for town supervisor. Chairperson Melissa Jaeger said that the Republican committee’s decision making process was “very easy” this year. For Town Council, the committee plans to endorse Mike Ivino and current Village Board member Vince Buono; for Town Supervisor, they support Paul Andreassen. It was unknown at press time if there would be any nominations from the floor challenging the committee’s choices. 

“We had a lot of questions [for the candidates] so that, you know, was a thorough process,” said Jaeger. “Saugerties is a small town — we know everyone, we know the democratic side, we know everybody. Beforehand, after hand, we have to work with everyone. I don’t like to say we’re running against anybody — the positions are open until the next term, we’re running for the positions, not against anybody. We don’t dislike anybody, it’s not about that.“

Jaeger said that topics broached in the party’s interviews with candidates included taxes, the town budget, bringing new businesses to Saugerties, the prospect of sanctuary cities and “helping our services be a little bit better.” 


“You name it, we pretty much asked them,” she said. “Taxes are always a big question on everyone’s mind. That and businesses and services — that effects either everyone’s purse or their immediate lives.”

For local legislative races, the committee plans to support Mary Wawro for District 1, Al Bruno for District 2 and Dean Fabiano for District 3.

Dems to hold primary

The Saugerties Democratic Committee has elected hold a primary this year, on June 25, rather than their tradition caucus meeting, to determine which candidates for town supervisor, the town council and the county legislature will appear on the Democratic line in the November general election. Both current town supervisor Fred Costello Jr., and challenger Paul Andreassen are registered but not enrolled in a party, though both are seeking a Democratic endorsement. Democratic party chairman Lanny Walter said that, while the option has been considered by the committee in previous election cycles, this is the first time in the body’s history that they have deviated from the caucus, the traditional means of determining which candidates that are or aren’t registered Democrats can be the party’s choice on the ballot.

“We thought it was more democratic — the Democrats don’t have to show up during a very specific two hours stretch one night whenever the caucus is held. They can, during a regular primary process, go vote at their polling place,” said Walter of the decision. “We anticipate a good deal more people will participate and we’d have more control over who could take our line and our hard work and run for office.”

The act of giving a candidate not registered with your party an endorsement and line on the ballot within the State of New York is called a “Wilson Pakula,” in reference to the Wilson Pakula Act of 1947. To be considered, candidates would have had to have approached the Democratic committee, with 31 current members, by March 26 with a petition signed by five percent of their potential constitutents’ democrats. For the town supervisor race, that’s 220 signatures. While the committee can technically give a candidate a Wilson Pakula without the total number of signatures, they won’t get on the party’s ballot line unless they’ve accrued that many by April 4.