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Challenger announces 2023 bid for Ulster County DA; incumbent undecided

Jan 10, 2023 12:45 am

Paul Kirby is reporting for the Daily Freeman Democrat David Clegg, 70, Ulster County District Attorney since 2020, said in a brief email January 9, that he is currently undecided on whether to run again. “I have not yet made a final decision,” Clegg said. Kelleigh McKenzie, the Ulster County Democratic Committee chairperson, said that she has been reaching out to the party’s incumbents. The Democrats' endorsement convention is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 22. On January 7, Republican Michael Kavanagh, 51, announced he will run again, but this time as an independent, in November’s contest. An election official said that even with Kavanagh saying he will run as an independent, he will need to comply with election rules and run under a party line. “It is unclear what Mike Kavanagh means when he says he will run as an ‘Independent’ since he is registered as a Republican and all signs in the various political circles in Ulster County points to him running as the Republican/Conservative’s selected candidate,” said Democratic Elections Commissioner Ashley Torres. Kavanagh previously ran as a Republican, losing to Clegg in November 2019. The son of former county DA and state Supreme Court Justice E. Michael Kavanagh, he lost to Clegg by just 77 votes, making Clegg the first Democrat in recent memory to lead the DA’s office. Kavanagh was previously an assistant district attorney in Dutchess County and is now serving as a member of the Ulster County Public Defender’s Office. “Ulster County cannot endure another four years of what has transpired under the current district attorney,” Kavanagh said. “Restoring the District Attorney’s Office will require an experienced prosecutor who has served that office and this community at the highest level.” Read more in the Daily Freeman.