County Beat
Hugh Reynolds: Things are looking up

Hugh Reynolds: Things are looking up

By now, former Democratic Congressional candidate Sean Eldridge should be starting to figure out what he’s going to do with the next part of his young life. Taking a miserable 35 percent of the vote against Republican incumbent Chris Gibson on Nov. 4 must have been a shattering outcome for him. How bad was it?...
Hugh Reynolds: Where's the fizz?

Hugh Reynolds: Where’s the fizz?

The barnburner campaign I had hoped for in the 103rd Ulster-Dutchess Assembly district, Kevin Cahill versus Kevin Roberts, has been something of a fizzle. It seemed as though all the elements were in place, Cahill as villain, Roberts as accuser. Cahill set the stage last year, said his detractors, by holding up the 1 percent...
Hugh Reynolds: The mood of the electorate

Hugh Reynolds: The mood of the electorate

“People have been traumatized [by the Great Recession]. They’re still struggling, worried, and anxious. Even though they’re working, they don’t believe their jobs are stable, they fear layoffs, and there’s a sense of impermanence.” So writes Carl Horn, author of Working Scared or Not at All, a professor of public policy at Rutgers University, as...
Hugh Reynolds: Good idea, but …

Hugh Reynolds: Good idea, but …

Good-government groups are divided on a redistricting proposition on this year’s ballot purported to bring more fairness and transparency to a partisan process that has traditionally offered neither. Under a constitutional amendment approved in separate sessions by both houses of the state legislature, Senate and Assembly redistricting based on the 2020 census would be conducted...
Hugh Reynolds: Gibson and Eldridge, face to face

Hugh Reynolds: Gibson and Eldridge, face to face

Raucous groups of partisans emitted whoops, yells and hisses at the first public face-off between Congressional candidates Chris Gibson and Sean Eldridge at overheated Miller Middle School in Lake Katrine the evening of Monday, Oct. 6. The rowdies numbered only about a third of the more than 600 in attendance. The majority came to look,...
Hugh Reynolds: He’s the bomb

Hugh Reynolds: He’s the bomb

Give Rob Astorino, the Republican candidate for governor currently floundering and polling in the mid-20s, credit for taking on a job nobody else wanted. But comparing Andrew Cuomo with Mario Cuomo’s last run indicates the poor man is not only suicidal but delusional as well. Astorino was in Kingston for a few hours last Wednesday,...
Hugh Reynolds: Here comes the judges

Hugh Reynolds: Here comes the judges

Ulster County Democrats have decided on their candidate for Family Court judge, though about 85 percent of their numbers stayed home in this three-way contest won by Saugertiesian Gilda Riccardi. Now it’s time to tie up some loose ends. When the smoke cleared from the Sept. 9 party primary, Riccardi had scored a decisive victory...
Hugh Reynolds: Face to face

Hugh Reynolds: Face to face

Candidate debates, as they’re commonly called, usually only decide an election when one of the candidates does something memorably stupid. But it’s good to see candidates in action, to watch how they perform under pressure, to note their mastery of factual detail. Lieutenant governor candidate Tim Wu, for instance, caught grief at a recent event...
Hugh Reynolds: How do you spell Torres?

Hugh Reynolds: How do you spell Torres?

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill staffer and New Paltz Town Councilman Dan Torres returned from a brief trip last month to discover to his dismay that he had “signed” a nominating petition for Cahill Assembly opponent Kevin Roberts. “At first I thought it was some kind of joke,” Torres told me when I finally caught up with...
Hugh Reynolds: The crisis which keeps on irking

Hugh Reynolds: The crisis which keeps on irking

For those who didn’t get enough of the Cahill sales-tax crisis last year, connected to the Ulster County Safety Net takeover, there’s a sequel currently in production. The follow-up installment dealing with the county government’s possible assumption of election costs should be in the news in a few weeks. All the props are in place,...
Hugh Reynolds: Choosing a judge

Hugh Reynolds: Choosing a judge

The Democratic primary for Family Court judge in Ulster County this year features two lawyers experienced at Family Court and a newcomer who says his life experience and community involvement will provide fresh perspective. Kevin Bryant and John Beisel of Kingston and Gilda Riccardi of Saugerties presented themselves to party faithful at a forum hosted...
Hugh Reynolds: Train in vain?

Hugh Reynolds: Train in vain?

Next Tuesday’s monthly Ulster legislature session could be the last roundup for Catskill Mountain Railroad supporters who hope to retain the possibility of a tourist train ride from Kingston to Hurley. On the agenda is a resolution that would permit County Executive Mike Hein’s long-standing plan to rip up the tracks from Midtown Kingston to...