Noble wins easily in Kingston
In the city of Kingston, mayor Steve Noble easily held off challenger Frank Waters for the Democratic Party line. An hour and a half after the polls closed, the tally stood at 1083 to 575.
“First things first, I’d like to congratulate Mayor Noble for his win,” said Waters. “Having announced his candidacy in July of 2021, I know it’s been a long campaign for him, and I am sure he must be glad it’s over. I wish him and his family all the best getting to November, and then — I feel safe saying — during his next term as mayor.
“I’d also like to thank everyone who volunteered for my campaign, who worked so hard for this historic city, and who really put their hearts into it … And I would like to especially thank my wife Shaniqua — for her love, her staunch support, for endlessly listening, and her great insight, at any and every step of the way. Like everything I do, I could not do it without her support.
“My hope is that this campaign — as all good primaries do — will shift the dialogue and focus a bit, and I look forward to supporting Mayor Noble in any endeavors that will benefit all the residents of this city I am so happy and proud to call home.”
In Ward 1, Democrat Sara Pasti emerged with the party line, besting challenger Charlotte Lloyd by 23 votes. The final tally was 163 to 140.
The primary contest in Ward 4 delivered a surprising 102 to 49 vote upset when three-term alder and Democratic Party candidate Rita Worthington lost the party line to a City of Kingston employee of 18 years, Jeanne Edwards. Worthington had notably endorsed Waters for mayor.
Brown, Seyfert-Lillis advance to general election
Voters decided that Kitty Brown should serve a fourth term on the New Paltz town council — albeit after a long break — and Julie Seyfert-Lillis a third; Alex Baer, however, will not be on the board for a second consecutive term after the June 27 Democratic primary. Unofficial results show Brown secured 418 votes, Seyfert-Lillis 419, and Baer 300. While this was a primary election, being on the Democratic line in New Paltz has, in recent years, all but guaranteed victory in November for a candidate.
Brown touted a long record of service in the community, which include three terms on the town council alongside then-supervisors Toni Hokanson and Susan Zimet. “I am thrilled,” Brown said, quickly adding, “I owe so much to those people back in February who carried petitions for me through sleet and snow, and worked hard to get out the vote for this election. It’s not easy in a small local primary. I try to be an advocate, not a squeaky wheel. I’m glad [voters] still have faith in me to be effective.”
Alex Baer had emphasized working on closing the gender pay gap in town government, as well as connections to the Latino and business communities. Expressing disappointment in the results, Baer said, “[I’m] looking forward to work in many other directions … maybe a diversity-led coalition,” to work on lifting up voices from underrepresented groups in the community.
Julie Seyfert-Lillis is a passionate environmentalist, who believes that issues ranging from the housing crisis to business success challenges can benefit from an environmental lens. “I’m looking forward to working with the board to continue to lead New Paltz in a positive direction,” most especially by building on the smart-growth principles used to create the gateway zoning near the Thruway. “I want to help people prosper in this town.”
Legislative nail-biter for District 20
Neither of the candidates in the 20th district county legislative race tried to claim victory Tuesday night, nor did either of them concede. The posted unofficial results had Limina Grace Harmon nine votes ahead of William Wheeler Murray, 190-181. With 67 absentee ballots outstanding, both candidates agree that the results are not set in stone. District 20 includes all of the village, as well as adjacent areas such as the Cherry Hill development.
William Wheeler Murray is current village trustee who has volunteered in a range of capacities, including in the fire department and on the planning board. “I am not conceding,” Murray said, preferring to wait until county election officials make an official call. “It was going to be close all along.”
Limina Grace Harmon lifted up training in green building techniques and experience advocating for complex issues such as racial equity as experience for serving in Kingston. “The numbers look good, but we’re not quite there yet,” Harmon said when reached for comment. “I am awaiting the full results.”
Majestic defeats Hunter for Dem supervisor nomination in Gardiner
In the primary race in the Town of Gardiner, eight-year incumbent Marybeth Majestic held onto her slot as the Democratic Party nominee for the post of town supervisor this coming November. Majestic had received the endorsement of the Gardiner Democratic Committee for reelection. But the unofficial results reported Tuesday evening by the Ulster County Board of Elections revealed a closer contest than many pundits might have predicted: Challenger Tim Hunter received 326 votes to Majestic’s 377, or a 46.24-to-53.48 percent margin.
“I have a renewed gratitude for this town,” said Hunter. “Although we did not win this race, I do not believe we truly lost either. Our team knocked on over a thousand doors, and I couldn’t be more proud of the effort we made. I look forward to coming together with Supervisor Majestic to advocate for the future of our town, and I hope the strength of our campaign and the high turnout of this election sends a message that our issues mattered to the people of Gardiner,” Hunter said in a statement following the posting of the primary results.
“Regardless of the final outcome, I would like to thank my exceptional team, volunteers and supporters. I hope this election marks the beginning of a Town Hall that is receptive to the input of our community, advocates for the environment and maintains the unique character of our town. I have always believed that politics should be about bringing people together and uplifting the voices of those who wouldn’t otherwise be heard. Meeting so many of my neighbors on this campaign was the experience of a lifetime, and I will never forget these magical last few weeks. Our work is far from over, and my focus is on what’s next in the fight for a brighter future.”
For her part, Majestic, a Bronx-born 43-year Gardiner resident, bolstered her bid for another term with an extensive list of past accomplishments in office. Among them were infrastructure improvements including upgrades to Town Hall, Majestic Park, the Clove Road Bridge and the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, the new Riverbend Trail system at the Transfer Station, expanded broadband service, an EV charging station at the Gardiner Library and an Inflow and Infiltration Study for the hamlet’s sewer district. She also cited the recent compromise resolution of the Lazy River Campground’s longstanding issues with unpermitted expansion; updating the Town’s Comprehensive Plan; completion of Natural Resource and Greenhouse Gas inventories; a Community Choice Aggregation contract for renewable electric power; conversion of streetlights to LEDs; and adoption of a Community Preservation Plan and a Real Estate Transfer Tax.
Updating Gardiner’s Zoning Code and aligning it with the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan constitute the top item on Majestic’s agenda for the rest of this year. “I would like to thank all those who worked with me on this primary, and especially those that voted for me,” she said after the outcome was announced. “It will be my honor to be on the ballot as the Democratic candidate in November’s general election.”
McKenna team sweeps Woodstock
Woodstock town supervisor Bill McKenna and his town board slate emerged triumphant in the contentious Woodstock town election. He scored 770 votes to opponent Bennet Ratcliff’s 673 in the tentative count. Meanwhile, his town council teammates, incumbent Laura Ricci (804) and newcomer Anula Courtis (735), won over Linda Lover (673) and Michael Veitch (571).
Bennet Ratcliff, Linda Lover and Michael Veitch will be on the Working Families Party ballot in November challenging McKenna, Ricci and Courtis.
Incumbents take the win in Saugerties
Incumbent Saugerties Town Board members Leeanne Thornton and Michael Ivino were the highest vote getters during Tuesday’s primary. Thornton got 787 votes and Ivino received 586 for the two open seats on the Town Board. A third candidate, Paul Andersen, received 455 votes.
McKnight wins Hurley race
Tuesday evening’s primary election in Hurley turned out well for town supervisor Melinda McKnight, but her political faction had a couple of very close calls – so close, in fact, that they conceivably might be reversed when all the ballots are officially counted.
McKnight had little trouble in her own race, besting councilmember Michael Boms by a solid 353 to 234.
In the three-way contest for two seats on the town board, however, the path was harder. Her supporter in most matters Greg Simpson (363) topped the polls. Her closer ally, Pete Humphries (322), was just ahead of opponent Diana Cline (320).
And in the race for town clerk, her recent appointee, Annie Reed (300), was winning narrowly over Tracy Kellogg (287).
Shandaken incumbents win
The Democratic incumbents on Shandaken’s town board, Kevin Van Blarcum (167) and Kyle Steen, had no trouble retaining their seats against newcomers Christina Varga (69) and Wendy Grossman (54) in Tuesday’s primary.
Ken Ronk wins GOP primary for Shawangunk supervisor
Ulster County Legislator Ken Ronk won a GOP primary for Shawangunk supervisor by defeating Adrian “Binker” DeWitt by a vote of 412 to 126. Incumbent councilman Joseph LoCiero got 337 votes, Brian Amthor received 304 and incumbent councilman Robert Miller received 250.