Donaldson is surprised as chair of Ulster County Legislature
Jan 09, 2020 12:29 am
Patricia R. Doxsey reports in the Daily Freeman that on Jan. 7 Ulster County representative David Donaldson said he had no interest in becoming chairperson of the Legislature. On Jan. 8 he was elected to the position. Donaldson was chair from 2006 to 2009, and has served 13 terms in total in the legislature. Tracey Bartels was the other candidate, but when she did not get enough support, Donaldson was tapped, a day after saying he was "happy serving as vice chairman under [Bartels]." Donaldson is a Democrat while Bartels is a non-enrolled voter who aligns with Democrats. "It's not something I wanted to do, I'll tell you that," Donaldson said after the vote. But Laura Petit, an Independence Party member who caucuses with Democrats would not support Bartels, so Democrats turned to Donaldson. Majority Leader Jonathan Heppner said, "Monday evening, I was informed by Laura Petit that she wanted the opportunity to be chair and had worked with the Republican caucus to secure the votes necessary be chairman.... Obviously, that was a surprise." Republicans ultimately backed Heidi Haynes, an Independence Party member who caucuses with the GOP. Ultimately, Donaldson beat Haynes 13-to-10, to lead the legislature this year. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.