Berne justice candidates tell the GOP no thanks
Noah Zweifel is reporting for The Altamont Enterprise the Berne Republican Committee has named its candidates for the November general election, minus two town justices who declined the committee's support. Incumbent justices Alan Zuk and Albert Raymond were nominated by the GOP after previously receiving the endorsements of the Democratic and Conservative parties. Zuk is a registered Democrat and Raymond is a Conservative. Zuk was appointed to town justice in 2012 and subsequently re-elected twice. He told The Enterprise that he has declined GOP nominations in the past. “Just being consistent, I declined it again this time,” Zuk said. When asked if the decision was related to ideology, Zuk said yes, adding, “I’m a Democrat.” Zuk had served as a Berne town justice for four years before he was elected supervisor in 1985. He remained in that post for 16 years before being ousted by Kevin Crosier, a Democrat who challenged Zuk on the GOP line and won. Crosier now chairs Berne’s Democratic committee. The GOP plans to replace Raymond and Zuk with other candidates. On social media the Republicans are characterizing Zuk and Raymond's decision as Democratic hypocrisy, saying that Democrats have been erecting signs that promote cooperation within the town. “Alan Zuk would have never accepted it anyway,” Albany County GOP Chairman and former Berne Republican Party Chairman Randy Bashwinger told The Enterprise. “We just figured that we’d try working together with them. The big signs [put up by Democrats] that say ‘Berne working together’ are kind of a joke." He said GOP officials were told the Democrats are "not allowed to accept the nomination from the Republicans," something the Democrats deny. The Berne Republicans endorsed Dennis Palow for town supervisor; Leo Vane, Tom Doolin and Anita Clayton for town board; and Incumbent Randy Bashwinger for highway superintendent. Read more in The Altamont Enterprise.