Ulster County Legislature Chairman David Donaldson was seemingly beaten by challenger Philip Erner in the Democratic primary for District 6 yesterday, with unofficial results showing the newcomer ahead 236-192. Should the results hold, Erner will carry the Democratic line in the November election.
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).
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 hasn’t officially earned the Democratic line yet: According to Elections Commissioner John Quigley, there are 55 absentee ballots to count in the race.
Regardless of the official outcome in the Democratic primary, Donaldson can still hang onto his seat in November when he’ll appear on the Good Government party line. Suzanne M. Timbrouck will run on the Republican and Conservative lines for the District 6 seat in November.