Saugerties election letters: Town justice primary, Democratic Committee reps

Vote for Stan O’Dell for Saugerties Town Justice

I write today in support of my dear friend, Stan O’Dell, and his candidacy for Saugerties Town Justice in the upcoming Democratic primary. While Stan’s lifetime body of work is uniquely suited for this important position (30 years a NY State trooper, a BCI investigator assigned to the World Trade Center and Saugerties fireman), it is his personal qualities that I wish to highlight. Stan is the neighbor that checks on you in a storm, who stops if he sees you pulled over on the side of the road and offers to search with you if your dog or cat goes missing. He offers to mentor a kid in trouble. Honesty, fairness and reliability are his trademarks. He is the type of friend and neighbor and public servant that makes Saugerties the unique place it is. In this chaotic moment he is a calming voice of reason, who stands strongly for justice for all people. I urge my friends in the Democratic Party to vote in the upcoming primary and I hope you will vote for Stan O’Dell for Town Justice.

Judy Hinchey

Proud to support Claudia Andreassen in her re-election for Saugerties Town Justice

As a female attorney who has been practicing law in New York for close to 15 years, a lifelong Democrat and a sitting member of the Saugerties Democratic Committee, I am proud to support Claudia Andreassen in her re-election for Saugerties Town Justice.  Claudia has been our justice since 2012 and a member of the Democratic Party since 1968.  She is an incredibly strong and competent woman who has been endorsed by the Ulster County Democratic Women and who has demonstrated her commitment to justice and fairness in her past eight years on the bench.


On a more personal note, she has also been reaching out to her neighbors who have been going through trying times during this pandemic — myself included — and I know her to be a kind and compassionate individual who cares about all of us here in town.  Claudia more than deserves our votes.  I hope everyone makes sure to cast their vote for Claudia on or before June 23 in this very pivotal primary election (local elections are where it all begins) and I hope all of you and your families are doing well.

Katherine Smith
Saugerties Democratic Committee

I endorse Stan O’Dell for Town Justice of Saugerties.

I have been involved in Ulster County Democratic politics since the mid-1970’s.  Mostly I served beer (once I turned 18) at campaign fund raisers where my parents, Mary and Rich Messina volunteered me to help.  My parents helped with a number of local, state and Congressional campaigns.  My mother was the first woman Democrat to run for a seat on the Ulster County Legislature.  I benefited greatly from those early experiences by learning to pay attention to local politics because in my home, Tipp O’Neill was quoted regularly, “All politics is local.”

In between those formative days in the 1970’s and today, I went to college, got married, we have a wonderful son and I worked for IBM for 38-and-a-half  years.  We returned to the Hudson Valley in 1998 and I’ve been on the Sawyer Savings Bank board since 1999.  In 2019, I formed a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit to advocate the FAA for the rights of recreational drone operators.  Without going too deep, the FAA is pressing regulations which could hinder aviation as a hobby which has fueled many STEM careers.

It’s the sentiment of, “All politics is local” that attracted my attention to Stan O’Dell running for Town Justice of Saugerties.  I’ve known Stan for years and I like his deep knowledge of the law from his 30 years with the NY State Troopers where he achieved a very senior position as senior investigator, and also his life-long empathy, honesty and deep-rooted respect for every individual he meets.  The work of a town justice is serious and can have a lasting impact on individuals who come before the court.  I know Stan will be fair, thoughtful and empathetic to victims as well as perpetrators who come before him.

I endorse Stan O’Dell for Town Justice of Saugerties.  Please consider joining me.

David W. Messina
Malden on Hudson

Choose wisely

In the Democratic primary that ends June 23, many Saugerties voters will choose their representatives on the Saugerties Democratic Committee. Extraordinarily, there are two slates of candidates in 11 Election Districts (EDs). One consists of 22 candidates in those EDs, all nominated by the Saugerties Democratic Committee and endorsed by the Ulster County Committee. The second slate consists of 12 people in those EDs. In each contested ED, voters choose two out of three or four candidates. (In five EDs there are no contests.)

These slates are very different. The endorsed slate has many decades of Democratic Party activism to its credit. All its candidates have voted in previous Democratic primaries. All have volunteered in campaigns. Collectively, these endorsed candidates have contributed almost $15,000 to Democratic campaigns committees since 2016, according to the NYS database. The full endorsed slate is at

As a group, the challenging slate’s candidates have no such record. Only two have volunteered in any capacity for Democratic candidates. Six have not voted in a Democratic primary in Ulster County, or not done so for many years. Five changed or reactivated their party registrations, or newly registered, to become Democrats within the past year; four of them did so in 2020. The NYS contributions database shows a total of less than $400 in donations from this slate to Democratic candidates and committees since 2016.

Primary voters seeking consistent commitment to Democratic candidates and values from their committee representatives may want to bear these records in mind.

Louise Bloomfield

Re-elect Claudia Andreassen

I have known Judge Claudia Andreassen for over 20 years.  For eight of those years, she has faithfully served, and is still serving, as one of our town justices. For 26 years before that, she served our community as an Ulster County probation officer.

Without question, she is uniquely qualified to continue on the bench. I urge all voters from the Democratic, Working Families, Green, Libertarian and Independence parties to vote for her in the primary election on June 23. Claudia deserves your vote. We love that she is and has been a fair and unbiased incumbent justice, and we also love that she is a voracious reader and a regular at our bookstore at the corner of Main and Partiton Streets in the Village of Saugerties. She has our undivided support!

Brian Donoghue
Inquiring Minds Bookstore

How a dual primary works

The Democratic presidential primary is a dual primary, where voters can vote for the presidential candidate of their choice and for the delegates of their choice — even if the delegates are not on the same line as their choice for president.

Here’s how it works: Presidential candidates run against each other in a statewide primary, with their delegates running in some congressional districts. Delegates are allocated based on the performance of the presidential candidates within the congressional district (for us that’s District 19). There are 184 pledged delegates statewide elected from congressional districts in the primary (92 male and 92 female). Congressional District 19 has three female and three male delegates for a total of six delegates.

In the presidential candidate contest, a presidential candidate must receive at least 15 percent of all the votes cast for all the presidential candidates in a congressional district. In Congressional District 19, if only one presidential candidate reaches the required 15 percent, then that candidate is entitled to all six district delegates from our congressional district.

If, for example, a presidential candidate receives 30 percent of the votes for president in a congressional district, that candidate will be entitled to two delegates. The delegate on their line who receives the highest number of votes will be elected as the first delegate. The delegate of the opposite sex who receives the highest number of votes shall be the second delegate. They would be elected to go to the national convention.

If another presidential candidate received 60 percent of the vote in District 19, that presidential candidate would be entitled to four delegates with the two females and two males, with the highest votes on their line being elected to attend the convention. In determining which delegates achieve the most votes to earn a place at the Convention, votes cast for a delegate on a line (other than the line of the voter’s preferred presidential vote) will be counted as a vote for that delegate.

Why does it matter if the delegate doesn’t represent the eventual presidential nominee? The short answer is that it influence the eventual Democratic platform and rules. We saw in 2016, where Bernie Sanders changed the rules about superdelegates at the Democratic convention, something that wouldn’t have happened if he didn’t have delegates to push progressive ideals.

For absentee ballot votes, the ballot has to be delivered in person to the board of elections in your county by June 23 (Primary Day), or postmarked by June 16.


Lanny Walter

Stan O’Dell’s impressive career is ideally suited for the roll of Town Justice

We write today in support of the candidacy of Stan O’Dell for Saugerties Town Justice in the upcoming June 23 Democratic primary. Stan’s impressive career is ideally suited for the roll of Town Justice: Thirty plus years in law enforcement as a NY State Trooper and an Investigator, then Senior Investigator and supervisor for the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. He was assigned to the World Trade Center following the 9/11 attack, conducting emergency response, interviews and investigations. Stan’s record of community service is even more impressive: Chairman of the Village Waterfront Advisory Board, appointed by Mayor William Murphy; A member of the Ashokan Release Working Group for Flood Resilience and Climate Resiliency; A 2nd Lt. C.A. at the Lynch Hose Company and Chief Marine Officer and active member of the Saugerties Fire Department. In this difficult time we have seen Stan work tirelessly with our dedicated public officials of all parties to get vital supplies and services to our first responders, medical community and most vulnerable citizens. He is fair, respectful and honest, and will seek a just and compassionate approach in every case. Our family has known and worked with Stan for decades. We are honored by his tireless service to our community, and are proud to call him a friend. He is a true person of integrity, who is willing to stand up for the voiceless in our community. We whole-heartedly endorse him for Saugerties Town Justice and we hope that our friends in the Democratic Party will do the same.

Kevin and Renee Hinchey

She has served faithfully

I write today to express my support for Claudia Andreassen in the upcoming Democratic primary. Claudia has a deep and thorough understanding of the law with her education in it starting with a bachelor’s degree earned in 1968, a master’s in 2012, to various certificates and credits earned through the present day.

She has put this education and training to very good use here in Saugerties. The town board appointed her to the position of town justice in 2012. and she has served faithfully in that capacity ever since, having won two elections in the process.

It is no secret that Claudia also serves faithfully in other roles. For instance, she is a deeply committed and compassionate volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and is a member of the NYS and Ulster County Magistrates Association. During this challenging time, we need a person who is committed and compassionate to guide our justice system.

Claudia has the experience as a judge who’s dealt first-hand with the new challenges of bail reform and Covid 19. She’s proven time and time again that community and justice for all within it matters. Fellow Democrats, please join me in casting your vote to re-elect the honorable justice Claudia Andreassen, whether it be via absentee ballot or in-person on June 23.

Tim Scott, Jr.

I stand with Andreassen

Putting others first.

That’s my experience of Claudia Andreassen, whom I have known for 35=plus years.  I encourage you to review Claudia’s education and experience training at  Her trainings in dealing with mental-health and addiction issues alone, have set a high bar difficult for her opponent to match.

I encourage you to join me in voting to re-elect Judge Andreassen, a lifelong Democrat.  At this moment in time more than ever, lifelong democratic values matter.  We know where Claudia stands, and I stand with her.

Virginia Luppino

This is your chance

As Martin Luther King. Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

We are here, as Barack Obama has voiced, “because the uncertainty and hardships of the pandemic have been compounded by tragic reminders that prejudice and inequality still shape so much of American life.”

In going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained and effective action, then this moment in history can be a pivotal point in our nation’s struggle to achieve our highest ideals.

As Mark Twain said, “The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.” It’s only been through protests and civil disobedience that any government has paid attention to marginalized communities. Because of the recent sacrifice of young lives, the world is paying attention today.

“If you want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between politics and protest. We have to do both.”

In the words of Antonio Delgado, “The power of the vote is often maximized when it can tap into the energy that protesters make visible.”

In any given moment we are faced with two choices, to step forward into growth or backward into safety. Growth and comfort do not coexist.

Gandhi begged us to “be the change you wish to see in the world.”

This is your chance to do just that.

Claudia Andreassen
Malden on Hudson

Our votes have never been so important

The endorsed Saugerties Democratic Committee members have always lived up to their ideals and have been a reassuring presence over these last terrifying months. They deserve your vote: by absentee ballot, early in person, June 13-21; or on Primary Day, June 23. ALL VOTERS MATTER and our votes have never been so important — or the moment so opportune.

These last weeks have shone a spotlight on America’s failings. And the president’s mishandling of the protests — and of the pandemic — has shone a spotlight on his. We must keep those spotlights on. Otherwise Trump, having divided and carved us up, will take us down.

The tide is turning. Evangelists — even Pat Robertson — are acknowledging that holding up a Bible is not the same as upholding it; the D.C. archbishop and other faith leaders agree, and for that and Trump’s general moral turpitude are repudiating him. Some Trump rally-goers and rank-and-filers are realizing they belong to a group — the have-nots — that a Trump-exacerbated pandemic has disproportionately ravaged and that Trump himself continues to ravage, pushing workers back into meat-packing plants and other dangerous situations.

Some whose pockets Trump fills are wondering: “What profits is a man to gain the whole world, yet lose his soul?” Grandparents are shuddering at the thought of leaving their grandchildren’s fates in Trump’s hands, and those grandchildren are on the march. Police officers are marching with them and taking a stand by taking a knee.  Emboldened by General Mattis, military officials are denouncing Trump for demanding deployment of active-duty forces and brutalizing peaceful protesters in order to stage a photo op.

Several incumbent GOPoliticians have finally voiced their long-held anti-Trump views. And a growing number of former Republican leaders — Bush, Powell, Rice, etc. — are piling on.

Let’s pile on as well. Let’s take a first step by voting for the endorsed Saugerties Democratic Committee. And then let’s keep marching!

Tom Cherwin

A  Green for Andreassen

On June 23, the residents of Saugerties will be deciding who will represent them and their party for the upcoming town judicial race. It’s no accident I am a registered Green Party member. Democracy, social justice, ecological sustainability, economic justice — our platform is about people not politics.

Judge Andreassen encompasses these values and more. Spending 26 years in the world of probation and eight years on the bench, Claudia Andreassen has balanced accountability, respect and dignity for all. As we strive to make our town, county, state, country an equally fair place to live and thrive, we should be paying close attention to our judges. With probation reform in its infancy, we must choose carefully. For eight years Claudia has earned our trust and respect. She’s treated all that have entered her court equally with true blind justice.

Elected officials and judges are people. When you find one with the compassion, fairness and intellect of that in Claudia, you keep them.

Let’s keep judge Andreassen Green.

Catherine Weredyk

Support Claudia Andreassen

I am writing to show my support for Claudia Andreassen for town justice in Saugerties. Judge Andreassen is a life-long Democrat who has been on the bench for two terms, serving our community well. We all deserve to have her on the bench for four more years. Please vote for Claudia.

Gilda Riccardi

Easy to talk to

I support Claudia Andreassen for Saugerties town judge. She has many years of experience on the bench. She is a kind, caring and thoughtful person. I thankfully have never been on the other side of the bench when judge Andreassen was presiding, but one of my children was for a speeding ticket. My child said that in the courtroom Judge Andreassen was personable and easy to talk to. She did not make my child feel like a criminal, rather that they were the only person in the court.

We need this type of professionalism in our town court. If you are able, please vote for Claudia in the June 23 primary. Experience counts.

Michael MacIsaac

Beth Weredyk asks for your vote

I’m Elizabeth Weredyk and I ask for your vote on June 23 for the Saugerties Democratic Committee. So many of us feel under-represented. That so many things, organizations, groups, committees come before us, the people. Our voice has been overshadowed and drowned out by establishment politics and the personal agenda of career politicians. That feeling is real and the solution starts at the bottom.

Our first level of representation is election district representatives. Names we shamefully never know who all too often do not keep us informed. I run to represent Saugerties District 13 – “The Heights,” and if elected on June 23, I guarantee that you will know me, my contact information and everything going on in our village, town and county. Your questions and concerns will be heard and voiced.

Individuals wishing to represent OUR Democratic line will answer YOUR questions. Candidates will be vetted, supported and then held accountable.

It is time to raise the bar, it is time for the Saugerties Democratic Committee to have transparency and inclusion. Let me help bring this to the Saugerties Democratic community. The election is June 23 and I ask my fellow Saugerties Democratic friends and neighbors to vote, to be heard and to be represented. I’m Elizabeth Weredyk and you can contact me at (845) 217-5681 or Thank you.

Elizabeth Weredyk

Newest Saugerties Democratic committeeman endorses Judge Andreassen

On June 23, I’ll begin my first term as a Saugerties committeeman representing District 11. One of the foremost responsibilities of a committee representative is to find, vet and support good Democratic candidates. Claudia Andreassen, a two-term life-long democratic judge who has a proven record of fairness and compassion, deserves, and should represent the Democratic line in the upcoming general election. June 23 is our chance to ensure that happens.

From traffic violation on up, I want my family, friends and neighbors standing in front of a judge I know is righteous, blind to anything but justice. No back-door conversations, no deals, no phone calls, no politics. It’s fairness, it’s equality, that’s justice. That’s Claudia Andreassen.

Joseph Maloney
Saugerties Democratic Committeeman, District 11

Yes, a challenge to the Saugerties Democratic Committee — that’s democracy

I’m Ken Kleinberg, an active life-long Democrat running for the Saugerties Democratic Committee in the June 23 primary (District 2, the village). I’m in this race to help bring needed change, visibility and accountability to the Saugerties Democratic Committee, especially when the overall goal is to elect Democratic candidates to advance our community and country. I believe:

Committee members should be elected — currently many of the committee members are self-appointed — these positions should be decided with the people’s vote.

Names and contact information of district representatives should be readily accessible on the committee’s Facebook page and website, including the names of all Democratic challengers that will appear on the ballot.

Committee members should be open to conversations and communication with those looking to be included — they should not self-endorse themselves on social media or literature without this debate.

Committee meetings should be open and transparent to all — there should not be “executive” or “private” sessions behind closed doors (or Zoom sessions) where people are removed from participating.

The committee should use money that is donated by the community to ensure the election and support of leaders, such as Congressman Delgado — not to attempt to retain their own committee seats.

The current Saugerties Democratic Committee’s leadership should not be attempting to shut down all challengers. The committee needs transparent and accountable representation. I am one of many Democrats looking to bring new energy, abilities and leadership.

I ask for your vote on June 23.

Ken Kleinberg


There are 2 comments

  1. Chuck Fiorello, Saugerties

    I’m writing in support of Claudia Andreassen in her bid for re-election to the Town Justice position. I’ve known Claudia for nearly 20 years and have been an up close witness to her integrity and dedication to her duties as a judge. As a life-long Democrat who prizes the ideals of the Democratic Party, I can think of no one more qualified and who could serve our community more proudly as the Town Justice than Claudia Andreassen.

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