Kinderhook village set to elect new mayor
Natasha Vaughn-Holdridge is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media a three-way mayoral race is underway in the village of Kinderhook and two of the three candidates — Mike Abrams and Quinn Murphy — spoke March 6 at a forum sponsored by the Kinderhook Business and Professional Association. Abrams is running on the Old Kinderhook party line and Barry Knights, 57, is on the Kinderhook Ole’timers line. Murphy, 19, is the Kinderhook People’s party candidate. Knights was unable to participate, citing a prior engagement, and he later declined to speak with reporters about the election. Abrams and Murphy answered questions submitted by the audience. In his opening statement, Abrams talked about the importance of leadership. “When we’re choosing a mayor, we’re not choosing a mayor who is just going to run the day-to-day operations of our village,” Abrams said. “We’re also choosing a leader. ...We need someone who is going to set the priorities for our village and how we’re going to continue to grow and prosper together and we’re also choosing someone who is going to impact how we treat each other.” Murphy spoke about the village’s need for a mayor who is open-minded, energetic and proactive. “I see the opportunities that can make our village even stronger and safer,” Murphy said. “Not only do I see these opportunities but I have the practical ideas to actually implement them.” He noted the importance of communication and outlined some of his ideas on how to improve that communication between the village leadership and residents. The candidates took questions about village parking, climate change, grant ideas, Airbnb regulation and who the candidates would most like to have a cup of coffee with. Abrams noted his military and how he founded and now leads a nonprofit organization that helps military veterans and their spouses secure employment. Abrams is member of the village board, elected in 2020. Murphy spoke about his experience as a lifetime resident of the village and how he is a political science major at Siena College. He talked about knowing “every little nook and cranny” of the village, which he said he knows inside and out. Knights, the candidate not at the event, is best known for pulling a gun on a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest when it passed by his house in July, 2020. “Protesters reported two Kinderhook subjects initiated a verbal argument while armed with a handgun," according to a statement from State Police at the time. Now he says he was only "sticking up for law enforcement." Knights claims he never waved or pointed the gun at marchers, and the incident "had nothing to do with race." Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson marched in the protest and said at the time that the couple came out of their home yelling obscenities at the marchers, and then Knights wife waved the gun at the crowd before handing it to her husband. The couple was not charged with a crime. The winner of the March 15 election will replace Mayor Dale Leiser. The two candidates running unopposed for the two village board seats, Susan Patterson and Dorene Weir, also spoke at the candidates’ forum. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.