Eight candidates vying for four seats in Berne
Noah Zweifel is reporting for The Altamont Enterprise in the town of Berne incumbents are not running for re-election and both the Republicans and the Democrats have fielded full slates of candidates. Democrats had dominated town politics for decades, but with the 2016 election, even with an enrollment heavily favoring the Democrats, the town went for Donald Trump, and the GOP found a way into local politics. In 2020, a majority Republican town board took office and this year the one remaining Democrat on the town board is not running for re-election. In the November, Democrat Peggy Christman, a retired State Police lieutenant, is facing off against Republican Dennis Palow, who is retired from the U.S. Army and is now serving as the town's deputy supervisor. Republican incumbent Sean Lyons is not seeking re-election. In the race for a seat on the town board, carrying a two-year term because of a resignation, Democrat Timothy Lippert, the town’s former code-enforcement officer, is running against long-time town clerk, Anita Clayton. Clayton, a registered Democrat, did not win the Democratic line in the June primary, so she is running on the GOP line. A four-way race for two four-year terms on the board pits Democrats Jennifer Merrill-Fuller, a community volunteer, and retired biologist Patrick Martin, against Republicans Thomas Doolin, a physician’s assistant and Leo Vane, a retired pilot who was appointed to the board in March. Six of the eight town board candidates participated in an online live forum last week. Doolin, who was working at the time of the live event, answered questions prior to the event. Palow, the GOP candidate for supervisor, declined to participate and Vane, a Republican candidate for town board, failed to respond to multiple invitations. Read the details of the forum in The Altamont Enterprise.