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Clinton's Dean Michael declares his candidacy in the 106th Assembly District race

Dec 05, 2021 5:45 am

Kate Lisa is reporting for the Johnson Newspaper Corp. Republican Dean Michael, 61, a member of the Clinton Town Board, has announced his plan to challenge incumbent Democratic Assemblymember Didi Barrett in 2022. This will be Michael's second try; he lost to Barrett in 2020 by approximately 10,000 votes. Michael said his campaign was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “We couldn’t go door-to-door, we couldn’t have events,” he said. “I don’t think I had a fair opportunity to really reach out to the voters to express the differences between us.” Barrett has represented the 106th Congressional District since 2012. She has yet to announce her intention to seek re-election for a seventh term representing parts of Dutchess and Columbia counties. Michael is running to reverse the criminal justice reforms, stricter environmental regulations and other policies implemented under the majority Democratic control of the Legislature and Executive Chamber, impacting public safety, agriculture and the economy, he said. Michael is opposed to the most recent COVID-19 vaccine mandates imposed by state officials. “I believe in civil liberties,” he said. “I’m not an anti-vaxxer, I just think it should be a personal choice. I absolutely support people and their right to choose. [These mandates] are a broad brush without taking personal instances and medical conditions into consideration that can be detrimental,” Michael said. He has decided not to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, but says he had COVID-19 a year ago, touting his natural immunity as the reason. If elected, Michael said, he would advocate to change the state’s bail reform and discovery laws. “Nobody should sit in jail. No one should sit in jail not being able to post $100 or $200 bail. But granted, I think we can come up for a solution for that. Judges should have the discretion if someone is going to repeatedly hurt themselves or someone else, this should be easier decisions for a judge to make,” he said. Michael previously ran on the Republican, Conservative and Libertarian lines. He is a 1979 graduate of John Jay High School, holds an associate degree in communications from Dutchess Community College, a bachelor’s from Marist College in integrated studies and applied business and accounting with a paralegal certificate, and a Master’s in Business Administration from SUNY Empire State College. Michael owns and runs Hometown Premier Agency real estate and insurance company in Pleasant Valley. He has been self-employed for more than 30 years. Read more at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.