Great News! Voter Turnout Surges in Gardiner, County, and Across the State

Good news for Dems! The current political situation has activated Democrats locally and across the state.  In the Democratic primary held on Thursday, September 13 energized Democrats came out in historic numbers.  Democratic turnout more than doubled across the state as members of our party chose statewide Dem candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General as well as members of the State Assembly and Senate.  Locally, here in Gardiner, we chose candidates for County

Juan Figueroa for Sheriff

Juan Figueroa for Sheriff

Sheriff and State Senator.  You can find unofficial election results for Ulster County here.

Our two GDC-endorsed candidates won easily:

  • For Sheriff, Juan Figueroa defeated Paul Van Blarcum by a greater than 4 to 1 margin.  Van Blarcum was nominated by the Republicans so he will face Juan in November running on the Republican line.  If Juan had not won, there would have been no contest in November, as Van Blarcum would have been unopposed.  A tremendous effort by Juan’s campaign paid off handsomely.  The vote in Gardiner was 588 for Juan and just 68 for Van Blarcum.  Now on to November which will be a real contest.  We all need to maintain the level of energy, enthusiasm, and volunteerism to beat the incumbent in the general.  If you are interested in volunteering for Juan’s campaign, visit his website and sign-up here.  Also, elections are expensive and every dollar helps.  Donate to Juan’s campaign by clicking here.
  • Jenn Metzger for State Senate

    Jenn Metzger for State Senate

    For State Senate 42nd District, Jen Metzger won handily with 61% of the vote to 39% for Pramilla Malick district-wide (Ulster County gave Jen a whopping 83% of its vote and in Gardiner, she won by a more than 7 to 1 margin).  Jen is well-placed to take the Senate seat of the retiring John Bonacic.  She will face Orange County Clerk Ann Rabbit in November.  Again, we need to maintain the energy and enthusiasm through the general election.  Volunteer for Jen by visiting her website here.  Donate to her campaign by clicking here.

Turnout, Turnout, Turnout

But the real story is in the aforementioned historic turnout by Democrats in this primary.

As noted above, Dem turnout more than doubled.  In Gardiner, Dem turnout approached 50%, an unheard-of level of voter participation for any non-presidential election year.

Blue Wave

Bring on the Blue Wave!

And here are the historical numbers for Ulster County:

Sept 2010: 4,360
Sept 2014: 7,005
June 2016: 6,835
Sept 2016: 4,727
June 2018: 14,259 *
Sept 2018: 16,208 * (and more to come with absentees/affidavits)

Someone asked me today what the context was for these numbers.  Was there significant population growth in the county recently? Could demographic changes account for these numbers?  My response was: “The context stands 6 feet, 3 inches, wears a long red tie and can’t stop saying stupid things.”  Thanks, Trump!  On to November and hopefully a blue wave.

Vote Delgado for Congress in November!

antoninodelgadoAside from the two races above, by far the most important race is for NY’s 19th Congressional District where incumbent Republican John Faso is facing Democrat Antonio Delgado.  Faso has distinguished himself during his first 2-year term by voting with the Trump position 90% of the time, including on a deciding committee vote to kill Obamacare and cause 60,000 of his constituents to lose healthcare coverage.  Faso is in the pocket of the billionaire Mercer family that funds Breitbart News and Steve Bannon.

Antonio is a charismatic and accomplished lawyer and Rhodes Scholar who grew up in upstate New York and now lives in Rhinebeck. He represents our Democratic values of hard work, equal opportunity, universal health care, and good government working to help the people have been left behind by our current economy.

It is noteworthy that Antonio has been attacked by Faso and the Republicans for appearing, years ago, in a rap video.  With this approach, Faso and the Republicans are blowing the old, racist, Republican dog whistle that has been getting Republicans elected for a generation.  Well, this time it won’t work.  If we can maintain Dem enthusiasm in November that we just showed in this primary, Antonio will be our next Congressman.  The latest polling has Delgado ahead of Faso by three points!

Still, there is much work to be done.  We need to not rest on our primary laurels and push ahead to November with unrelenting hard work knocking on doors, making phone calls, showing up at events, and opening our wallets to fund the Delgado for Congress campaign.  To volunteer for Antonio, please visit his website here.  To make a donation to the campaign, please click here.

Together we will take back our country!

IMPORTANT VOTING INFORMATION: Primary Election Day is THURSDAY, September 13

Another Primary? We just had one in June!

YES! You read that right!  New York has a SECOND primary election this year (in addition to the primary that was held in June for federal offices) and it is on a THURSDAY.  Thursday, September 13, to be precise, and polls will be open from 12:00 noon until 9:00 pm.  This is the primary where we will choose candidates for state and local offices, specifically Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, County Sheriff, and State Senator.

Here is the sample ballot for Gardiner Democrats.

It is critical (for why, see below) for everyone to vote at their local polling places between noon and 9 pm on Thursday, September 13 to cast their primary votes.  If you are/can vote by absentee ballot, please be aware that the last day for you to postmark an APPLICATION for an absentee ballot is September 6.

The last day to APPLY for an absentee ballot IN PERSON at the Ulster County Board of Elections (284 Wall Street, Kingston, NY 12401) is September 12.

The last day to deliver an absentee ballot to the Ulster County Board of Elections is 9:00 pm on primary election day, September 13.

Any questions about voting in Ulster County can be answered by visiting the website of the Board of Elections.

Who Should I Vote For In This Primary Election?

The Gardiner Democratic Committee has made two endorsements for the September 13 Primary Election: Juan Figueroa for County Sheriff and Jen Metzger for State Senator

Juan Figueroa for Ulster County Sheriff

Juan Figueroa

Juan Figueroa

Juan is a 40-year resident of Ulster County, having moved with his family to Plattekill when he was a boy.  He is a 22-year combat veteran in the United States Marine Corps.  Juan served for 25 years in the New York State Police where he served in key leadership positions as a police academy instructor, field training officer, and an investigator with the Bureau of Criminal investigations where he worked to stop drug cartels, economic crime, corruption, racketeering, extortion and other crimes.  Juan believes is law enforcement and communities working as a team to tackle the opioid abuse problem.  Juan will bring true Democratic values to the Sheriff’s Office.

Juan’s opponent is the incumbent Ulster County Sheriff, Paul Van Blarcum, who is seeking a fourth term after having embarrassed the office by posting blatantly right-wing  posts on the County Sheriff’s Facebook page and behaved contrary to our Democratic values through a number of his actions including exhorting all pistol owners to bring their weapons to work with them, instituted discriminatory warrant checks on all citizens entering the county building, and working hand-in-glove with ICE to locate and arrest undocumented aliens.  Although he is a registered Democrat, Van Blarcum is also running as a Republican and will appear on the Republican line in November.  He even proudly had his picture taken with Donald Trump.  At the County Democratic Convention, Juan Figueroa received 85 percent of the delegates’ votes for sheriff.  However, the incumbent was able to get on the primary ballot anyway.  It is time for a change at the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office.  Vote for the Gardiner Democratic Committee’s endorsee, Juan Figueroa for Sheriff on September 13!

Jen Metzger for State Senator

Jen Metzger

Jen Metzger

This year the incumbent Republican State Senator for the 42nd district, John Bonacic, is retiring after 20 years in office.  Running to replace Bonacic is Jen Metzger a longtime Democratic activist, Rosendale Town Council member, and co-founder of Citizens for Local Power a community-based organization working to reduce energy costs for citizens and governments.  She has spent a ton of time working in Albany on these energy issues and understands how Albany works.  Like Juan Figueroa, Jen Metzger is a figure of immense integrity as well as someone who lives her Democratic values every day.  Jen is running against Pramilla Malick a Democratic activist from Orange County primarily known as the founder of Protect Orange County, a community organization leading the opposition of the CPV fracked gas power plant.

The race to replace Bonacic as State Senator in the 42nd district is key because of the slim Republican majority in the State Senate that has prevented many key pieces of Democratic legislation from becoming law.  It is critical that we choose the strongest candidate possible to face the Republican nominee, Orange County Clerk, Anne Rabbit and take the majority in the New York State Senate.  The Gardiner Democratic Committee strongly endorses Jen Metzger for State Senator.

The Gardiner Democratic Committee has made no endorsements for Governor, Lieutenant Governor or Attorney General.  Here are the websites of the candidates:

For Governor
Andrew Cuomo
Cynthia Nixon
For Lieutenant Governor
Kathy Hochul
Jumaane Williams
For Attorney General
Zephyr Teachout
Sean Patrick Maloney
Letitia James
Leecia Eve

One more time: Please don’t forget to vote in the Democratic Primary on Thursday, September 13!