Ulster lawmakers thinking about skipping special election
Feb 21, 2019 12:15 pm
Patricia Doxsey is reporting for the Daily Freeman some Ulster County lawmakers are pointing to a flaw in the county charter as a way to get around holding a special election for county executive to seat someone for just a few months. They are questioning the wisdom of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a special vote just seven months before the general election. The executive will be elected to a four-year term in November. County Legislature Chairwoman Tracey Bartels said the Legislature will hold a special session next week to vote on setting the special election for April 30. But, Doxsey reports, there appears to be more than enough opposition among lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to put the fate of that resolution, and the special election itself, in doubt. Several legislators in both parties said that because there is no clear language in the charter that makes the Legislature responsible for calling the special election, and because it appears the Republicans will not field a candidate, they should forgo the April vote. Legislature Minority Leader Ken Ronk said acting County Executive Adele Reiter should be allowed to remain in the position through the end of 2019, with the person who is elected in November taking over on Jan. 1, 2020. The Ulster County Democratic Committee met Feb. 20, and chose former Democratic congressional candidate Pat Ryan as its candidate. Ryan, of Gardiner, defeated fellow Democrat Patrice Courtney Strong at the convention held in Kingston. Ryan's name will appear on the Democratic line in the special election, if it occurs, and will be the party's nominee for the Democratic line in the November general election. Republicans are scheduled to hold their convention Sat., Feb. 23. Ronk said the Democratic candidate will likely be unopposed in the special election. Read both stories in the Daily Freeman.