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Two Republicans enter the 106th Assembly District race

Feb 15, 2022 1:01 am

Kate Lisa is reporting for Johnson Newspaper Corp. two Hudson Valley Republicans have emerged to announce their intention to unseat longtime Democratic Assemblymember Didi Barrett in November. Candidates will start to canvass for signatures in early March. The boundaries of the 106th Assembly District will shift farther north to include more of Columbia County, and will continue to encompass most of Columbia and Dutchess counties. Chatham resident Brandon Gaylord, 36, said he was inspired to run for office after New York lost more than 350,000 residents between 2020 and 2021, ranking third-highest of all states for outmigration. “It’s such a beautiful state and people are fleeing,” Gaylord said. “I think regardless of political affiliation, people in the state will agree things are not working.” Gaylord teaches 11th-grade U.S. history at Green Tech High Charter School in Albany. He and his family arrived in Columbia County in 2019; he currently serves as the chair of the Chatham Planning Board. Gaylord is seeking a spot on the Republican and Conservative ballot lines. His wish list of issues includes lower taxes, increased public safety and other measures to attract young families to upstate New York, he said. Gaylord opposes COVID-19 mandates, including statewide rules to wear face masks or requiring certain workers receive the coronavirus vaccine. Catrina Rocco, 39, of Poughkeepsie, hopes to win spots on the Republican, Conservative and Libertarian lines in November. Rocco is the department chair of Liberal Arts and General Studies at Mildred Elley, a private, for-profit college with campuses in Albany, New York City, and Pittsfield, Mass. Rocco has lived in Dutchess County for eight years. She grew up in Yonkers and in Eastchester, in Westchester Co. Rocco said the state’s high taxes and cost of living inspired her to run. She said, “I think the policies have hit New Yorkers very hard, particularly the middle class. I want to do my part to make sure the voices of the district are heard loud and clear in Albany. It’s time to reverse this trend in Albany.” Rocco, who is vaccinated against COVID-19, opposes statewide orders such as business shutdowns and vaccine mandates. She is the calendar administrator for the Dutchess County Republican Committee, a member of the Thomas Paine National Historical Association and chair of veterans and families support for the VFW Auxiliary in the state’s second district. In addition to Gaylord and Rocco, Clinton resident Dean Michael has also said he intends to challenge Barrett again in a rematch of their 2020 contest. Barrett has not yet announced if she will seek a seventh two-year term or not. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.