The Olive Democratic Party held its 2019 caucus Thursday, May 16, and now has a full slate of official candidates for November’s municipal elections. By and large, the event at the town courthouse and meeting hall in Shokan went smoothly, with only one position — that of town justice, previously occupied by Tanya Davis — drawing more than a single candidate.
Only Democrats were previously announced for positions. Republican Dave Sorbellini, co-chair of the town planning board who is running for town council on the Olive Republican line alongside incumbent GOPer Peter Friedel, attempted to seek a cross-endorsement with a floor nomination…to no avail.
Margaret (Peggy) Haug won the nod for judge over fellow candidates Kimberly Huppert, an insurance agent and business owner, and Ed Moldenado, Sorbellini’s co-chair on the planning board.
Haug is an Onteora graduate who became a physical education and health teacher at Rhinebeck and then Onteora, who will be retiring next month and has said that she’s “pursuing the town justice position because I want to give back to my community in a constructive manner for all that it has shared with me over the past 37 years.”
She’ll be joining Dem candidates Jim Sofranko for supervisor, seeking to fill the shoes Sylvia Rozzelle will leave empty when she retires after 40 plus years in Olive government at the end of this year; incumbent councilman Drew Boggess will be seeking another term; and political newcomer Dave Edinger, currently a member of the town’s Conservation Advisory Council, will fill the other Democratic line.
“It has been a privilege to work as a Town Board member for five years alongside Supervisor Sylvia Rozzelle who has done an outstanding job during her tenure,” said Sofranko, who feels the town is on a good track. “I hope to continue the work that Sylvia has accomplished for our community and continue to build on her successes.”
Boggess, who worked at Rotron for 35 years as an aerodynamic design engineer and manager of product development before retiring in 2015 and served as chair of the town’s planning board for nine years, said he’s running for a second term based on his experience and because he feels “we have more work that needs to be done.”
Edinger, who has worked at SUNY Ulster for 20 years and serves with the Olive Fire Department and Olive Free Library Board of Directors, noted that “Olive will be experiencing many changes over the next few years and I would like to help guide the town to make the most of these changes while maintaining everything we love about our town.”
While Olive Republicans have not reported on their March caucus, or answered calls and emails of late, Friedel’s assured candidacy will be joined by Sorbellini, a longtime UPS employee who noted online, following last week’s Democratic caucus that, “the beauty of our Town was the central theme of the Democratic Caucus; however, it is decaying…our town board continues to run with scissors, no vision, no transparency, no constructive leadership!” Republicans have not announced a candidate for supervisor.
There will be an Olive Conservative Caucus this Thursday, May 23 at 6 p.m. in the same meeting hall and town court in Shokan.
Races are on.