Jen Metzger was elected Ulster County Executive and Michelle Hinchey was returned to the State Senate in local elections November 8 (watch their victory speeches here). Pat Ryan declared a razor-thin victory in the 18th Congressional District. Sarahana Shrestha took the race for the 103rd district of the State Senate.
With 151 of 164 election districts reporting, Democratic candidate for County Executive Jen Metzger held a commanding 41,153-31,915 lead over Ulster Town Supervisor, Republican James E. Quigley III.
Clearly this was Metzger’s moment. The crowd at the Democratic watch party at the Best Western hotel in Kingston responded to the Rosendale resident and former State Senator like a rising sea, flowing over the seawalls. They knew and hoped and prayed and here was their result.
“We lead together,” said the new County Executive. “I see incredible opportunities, where we create together a strong, resilient, fair, equitable, sustainable society…”
Ulster county Legislature chairwoman Tracey Bartels said she was “just thrilled. I’m looking forward to Jen Metzger as our County Exec. She’s going to be a great partner. She brings a lot to the table. Yes, expertise, but she listens to us and allows us to be heard.”
At the same time, over at the Chateau on Route 32, Quigley sat alone in the lobby, like a king outside his own birthday, watching a laptop, surrounded by enthusiastic supporters, outside the main room. He chose his moment, and strode to the podium…he was an easy speaker… “We’re down four to one- there’s no reason to panic.”
He continued. “I ran my campaign on the basis of integrating and getting the towns to work closer with the county, and we now have a county executive with absolutely no operating experience…So God bless the United States. And have a good night.”
On a night when Governor Kathy Hochul appears to have won a full four-year term, over Republican Lee Zeldin (though Zeldin refused to concede), Republican Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro declared he had defeated Democrat Josh Riley for the 19th Congressional District seat, while holding a 5000 vote lead down the stretch. Near 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, Ryan’s opponent Colin Schmitt conceded amidst an extremely close completed vote count that had him losing by less than one percentage point.
Sarahana Shrestha, who had defeated incumbent assemblyman Kevin Cahill in a June primary, cruised to an easy win in the 103 rd Assembly district over Republican, Conservative Patrick Sheehan, 59%-38%.
And Ulster County resident Sharon A. Graff, a Democrat, appears to have won a seat on the State Supreme Court, finishing second in a four-way race for three seats. The other winners were Meagan K. Galligan, another Democrat, and Republican Thomas J. Marcelle.
Back at the Best Western, it was Hinchey’s turn, electrifying the crowd in front of a backdrop of a giant American flag. This was her moment.
“Officially we have won the 41st district here in the Hudson Valley,” she said. “I’m incredibly excited to continue the work that we have been doing and to continue the building of a thriving agricultural industry. New York is a leader. Thank you to this community, that here in the Hudson Valley we have the ability to do better and to do more.” The crowd roared.
Out of his badge and hat, gun and holster, Ulster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa, cruised to victory. “When you run a program, a medically assisted program that’s in the jail, that allows you to get social workers, peer advocates, case workers that are embedded in law enforcement, that is the future of law enforcement,” he told the crowd. “We can use that in most societal issue and having the largest seizure of guns and drugs in the county’s history shows that we can put people in rehab and help them became viable members of society and go after the source of drugs and guns. It’s tough to argue against that.”