In District 6 of the Ulster County Legislature, incumbent David Donaldson is seeking a 14th term, with a challenge from Philip Erner. Donaldson has served as chairman of the Legislature for four years, and was elected minority leader twice. In an endorsement profile by Kingston Democrats, Donaldson is noted for having “repeatedly demonstrated his ability to work with anyone willing to be part of a progressive agenda of government reform, the right economic growth, protection of our beautiful area, effective programs for youth and the elderly, along with enhanced collaboration with the City of Kingston and Ulster County.”
Donaldson taught government and economics at F.D.R. High School in Hyde Park for 20 years before recently retiring. Prior to that he was a foreman and inspector for Conrail Railroad. Before joining the Legislature, Donaldson was an alderman on the Kingston Common Council.
During his time on the Legislature, Donaldson has served as chairman (2006-09, 2020-21); vice chairman (2014-15, 2019); chairman (2019) and deputy chairman (2016-18) of the Laws and Rules, and Governmental Services committees; chairman (2014-15, 2018) and deputy chairman (2010-13, 2016-17) of the Legislative Programs, Education and Community Services Committee; minority leader (2004-05, 2012-13); co-chair of the Labor Relations and Negotiations Committee (2008), and deputy chairman of the General Services Committee (2000-01).
He also currently serves on the SUNY Ulster Presidential Search Process and Search Committee, and represents the Ulster County Legislature on the Ulster County Jury Board.
Erner, a farmer, community organizer and housing advocate, submitted his petition with the Ulster County Board of Elections through the Kingston People’s Party, and has received the endorsement of the Mid-Hudson Valley chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, and Ulster People for Democracy and Justice. A co-founder of Kingston Public Transit Riders, Erner worked with Ulster County Area Transit to help restore service to Kingston neighborhoods that were cut off when UCAT absorbed Kingston Citibus. He also organizes with Ulster Economic Justice, Wednesday Walks for Black Lives, and Hudson Valley Eviction Defense.
Erner cites mobility justice and a broken system with regard to “disparities in health-care, housing, food security, education, and more, across categories of socioeconomic class, race, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation, immigration status, national origin, language, and creed” as his areas of focus.