County Beat
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...
Hugh Reynolds: Money talks. Sometimes it yells ...

Hugh Reynolds: Money talks. Sometimes it yells …

Just when we thought the campaign for Assembly between New Paltz Town Supervisor Susan Zimet and incumbent Kevin Cahill was all over but for the shouting, they’re back knocking heads again, this time about campaign contributions. Zimet’s nearly $7,000 raised over the summer hardly measures up to Cahill’s six figures over a longer period, but...
Hugh Reynolds: A lack of sufficient ink

Hugh Reynolds: A lack of sufficient ink

There’s already much hand-wringing, finger-pointing and abject denials in the wake of Susan Zimet’s nominating petitions for state Assembly being rejected by the state Board of Elections last Friday. Losing is never easy. Let’s examine the petition process. For all the declarations, announcements, nominations and acceptance speeches that lead up to it, a candidacy is...