Surrounded by family, friends and political allies Michael Hein has officially entered the race for Ulster County Executive, announcing outside the Ulster County court house. The election will take place in a little less than a year Hein has announced unusually early and there will certainly be competition in the next few months from Democrats and Republicans alike. One big relief for Hein is that Sottile is NOT running and apparently is supporting Hein.
There is a double edge sword with Hein's candidacy and that is that he has never run for public office before but that could be a good thing voters may not want a politician in that office but a business person that can lead the county from a buisness stand point, and that is Micheal Hein. Hein has worked successfully in the private and public sector most recently as County Administrator and even his harshest critics are forced to admit that he's done a hell of a job in that position. Hein in his current position has done everything one would want in an elected County Executive: open government, fiscally responsible budgets and accountability.
However, the 800 pound Gorilla in the back of the Ulster County court house that a lot of the local pols seemed to ignore today is will Kevin Cahill run? Cahill already has a group looking to recruit his candidacy (Draft Cahill) Kevin Cahill also has a large history of public service and leadership abilities and will certainly give Hein a run for his money and with his record can beat Hein. Cahill has strong ties to the community and to local labor. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Note: This is not an endorsement of Hein, I think Hein is a worthy contender but it's premature in this stage of the game to support anyone. I urge people to wait and take a look at each candidate carefully before a commitment is made.