Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Below is a letter sent out by David Donaldson dropping his bid for Comptroller and calling for everyone to unite behind Elliott Auerbach. Dave did the right thing and I knew he would, he has always been a gentleman and a loyal Democrat. I look forward to him serving many years as Chairman of the County Legislature.

Now that Dave has stepped out, we are looking at a Hein/Auerbach team that is going to sweep through Ulster County this November and bring true reform to County government.

Dear Fellow Democrats:

I have been extremely honored over my many years as a public servant. My service as being the first Democratic Chairman of the Legislature in over two and a half decades has been my highest honor. When I reflect on my youth growing up on the streets, raised by a single parent that worked two and three jobs to make ends meet, I know that the path I have taken could have been vastly different.

When I was sworn in as Chairman, the County was in a financial mess with a nightmare jail project eating at our foundation. I set an agenda of “Better Government at a Better Price” to bring real reform in spending, hiring, and programs with full transparency. I had no shortage of truly dedicated legislators that were public servants first and foremost. Our work was cut out for us. Despite the long hours and trying times, I believed we made a difference where a difference was needed. The public agreed and re-elected a Democratic legislature in 2007, making us the longest-lasting county Democratic majority in Ulster County history. We are dedicated to continue that work.
When I decided to seek the nomination for the Comptroller’s position, I did so to offer my dedication, education and experience on a different level. Yet, in many ways I was ambivalent. I had to give up teaching which I still enjoy. I had to give up the Legislature in a time of transition when my experience and education could be useful.
When I began the campaign I braced myself for the worst. I had the pleasure of meeting with various town committees which, through their hard work, enables us to reap the rewards of public service. I was surprised when I received only positive reinforcement. Obviously, not all supported my bid for Comptroller. I had various people asking why I wasn’t running for County Executive while others hoped that I would stay as the Chairman. The idea of truly being appreciated is an experience I have no words to describe. I have never been so humbled throughout my tenure as a public servant. I regret that I did not have the opportunity to meet with every town committee.

What made the experience even more satisfying was the pleasure of traveling with my opponent, Elliott Auerbach. We both stayed on a positive message and always respected each other. As the meetings went on I became comfortable, that if I did not win the convention and primary, the nomination would still be in good hands. Although I lost by a narrow margin at the convention, I don’t regret that I took on this adventure. It was an enlightening experience.

After the convention I thought long and hard about a primary. I felt comfortable that I could win the primary but I worried about the fact that the two of us would spend our supporters’ hard-earned money against each other, only for the winner to face a well-financed Republican candidate in November. With various challenges in party positions on the horizon, I felt it extremely important to be united in this position and that of the County Executive . With these facts, coupled with the thought of all I had to give up to further my candidacy, I decided that I will not seek a primary.

I thank all those that supported me and ask all Democrats to unite behind Elliott Auerbach for Comptroller.

In the meantime, I will continue serving the people of Ulster County as the Chairman of the Legislature overseeing our agenda of “Better Government at a Better Price”.

David B. Donaldson


Anonymous said...

I guess the Legislature is good enough again now that Donaldson has lost out on the two top spots, What if he won, would he still have backed out? You don't get do-overs in politics.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

This is very disappointing news.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy, Have a little respect. Remove that comment from 2:29. The man survived cancer!

Jeremy Blaber said...

I apologize, I did not see that comment.

Anonymous said...

Good riddence. Dave's a waste. He made a fool of himself going around to committees. He did not have a chance of winning a primary even if he won the convention.

Anonymous said...

Nice of Donaldson now to tell us he was ambivalent about getting the job in the first place. Great way to enter an election.

Anonymous said...

Elliot is the better candidate, good decision.