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ESOPUS, NY – Officials in the Town of Esopus refute claims by Socialist challenger for NYS Assembly, Sarahana Shrestha, that she is a ‘community organizer’ from the Town. “Until earlier this year, no one in the Esopus community heard of her,” stated former Esopus Supervisor, Shannon Harris.
Shrestha, a self-described immigrant from Nepal who is openly affiliated with the Democratic Socialists of America, announced earlier this year that she would be challenging incumbent Kevin Cahill in a Democratic primary on June 28th for the newly drawn 103rd NYS Assembly District. The new 103rd AD encompasses the Town of Esopus, City of Kingston, and towns of Gardiner, Hurley, Kingston, Marbletown, New Paltz, Olive, Rosendale, Saugerties, Ulster, and Woodstock.
Esopus Councilwoman, Evelyn Clarke, said with dismay, “I don’t know anything about her. But people’s mailboxes are filling up with costly, unsubstantiated half-truths, and accusations about Assemblyman Cahill. Kevin Cahill has been a supporter of Esopus for many years. We wouldn’t even have the Sojourner Truth memorial were it not for his support. Bottom line, nobody in Esopus has ever worked with or knows anything about Sarahana Shrestha.”
“Who is fronting the money for all these expensive mailings? What is their agenda? It must be costing hundreds of thousands of dollars,” pondered Esopus Town Clerk, Holly Netter.Other town officials, like 3-term Councilwoman Kathie Quick, speculate that Shrestha moved to the area post-Covid from either New York City or Washington, DC, as part of a wider political agenda. “We believe she is a pawn for downstate activists in the Socialist party looking to radicalize upstate politics,” said Quick.
Quick, a retired schoolteacher, added, “I don’t know of any accomplishments she has achieved in our community. The web is devoid of biographical information on this person. What employment has she had? Does she work now? Where was she living before? I’ve known Kevin Cahill for a long time. I know he delivers legislation that benefits our entire district. He has been especially helpful to the Town of Esopus.”Former Esopus Supervisor and current Councilman, Jared Geuss, observed, “Last year the Socialists infiltrated the City of Kingston in a 3-way race that ousted Ulster County Legislative Chair Dave Donaldson.” Geuss, who is openly supporting Democrat Kevin Cahill, sees a similar pattern unfolding this year in Esopus.
Esopus Councilwoman Laura Robinson said, “There is nothing like the threat of a Socialist operative at the State level to sow more discord and chaos in Albany.”
Earlier this year, the insertion of Shrestha’s partner, Peter Cavanaugh, as a voting member of the Esopus Democratic Committee created an especially awkward dynamic. “What it did was exacerbate an already divided Committee,” said former Esopus Democratic Chairman and current Committeeman, Roscoe Pecora.
“We are seeing mainstream Democrats get pushed out by radicalized, anti-incumbent affiliates of the Working Families Party and Citizen Action of New York. When I saw AOC’s endorsement, along with other NYC politicos on Shrestha’s literature, I knew a bigger agenda had evolved encompassing the Hudson Valley.”
Pecora, a CSEA union member, added, “I question whether the WFP has become nothing more than a tool of the Socialist movement. Given that every single union endorsed Kevin Cahill for this race, Kevin is the candidate for working people. Not the WFP.”
“I don’t even see union bugs on some of Shrestha’s campaign material,” added Pecora.
“There’s no place for politics when it comes to our infrastructure,” said Michael Cafaldo, Superintendent of Highways in the Town of Esopus. “For years Kevin Cahill has supported financing of critical equipment that makes our roads safer.”
Past Supervisor and Town Clerk, Diane McCord, stated, “Democrats shouldn’t be complacent in this Primary Election. Kevin Cahill is the clear choice. He has a long history of delivering results for Esopus and surrounding communities in the Mid-Hudson Valley.”
Paid for by concerned, independent thinkers in Esopus.