Off the bat let me say Ron Polacco and Rich Cahill were the most impressive. I like Polacco going in there and really hitting the fact that he is involved in the community, how he has taken an active role with going on drug raids with the KPD, his consistent voting record on the council ect. Polacco answered questions intelligently and came across very competent. I really thought he connected with the viewers and I think he will do well in the Republican primary. Any Republican candidate that underestimates or ignores Ron Polacco will be very disappointed on primary night.
Rich Cahill went in to the Republican debate with a pen, no papers, no notes, just a pen. The message was clear: I know the budget, I know the issues, I am ready and am the strongest Republican candidate on this stage. Cahill really embarrassed the Republican nominee and did show that he has a better grasp of the issues than Turco-Levin does. My only criticism of Cahill is he came across a bit mean to Andi but hey this is politics, Cahill needs to remember Lazio v. Clinton in 2000. Cahill put forth a detailed plan and definitely out debated Turco-Levin, even getting her to lose her cool a few times. He also got her on the fact that she supported a tax increase, that will be a big issue in the GOP primary. He did very well.
Andi Turco Levin had a good performance as well, don't get me wrong, she was well prepared and did a decent job. Andi's short comings were on the tax issue, her share the love comments and letting Cahill get her off her game. Andi left the Freeman hurt a bit but she was not knocked out, she has fire and passion as well.
Ward 1: Matt Dunn is looking good to take back that seat for the Democrats in a Ward that is very Republican. Mr. Dunn is a great guy with an impressive legal background and someone that is very community orrianted and someone I feel will be an asset to the common council.
Ward 2: Tom Hoffay and I were friends for years, he is smart, hard working and an overall asset to the council. However, I feel lately he has lost his way and it may be time to see what new ideas can be brought forward by Seth Allen. This race really has me conflicted. From an objective point of view, Hoffay has a good shot in getting reelected due to enrollment and the fact that 90% of the enemies (uptown business owners) he has in Ward 2 can't vote against him.
Ward 3: Charlie Landi should be ok, he has a tough race ahead of him, Nate Horwitz is working hard and has three lines. Landi is a hard worker knows his facts and at the end of the day will be reelcted, I hope so at least.
Ward 4: Shirley Whitlock all the way. I like Shirley, she is a fighter and a solid representitve for midtown Kingston. We need her to be reeelcted.
Ward 5: Nick Woerner has a good shot in winning the Democratic primary and is by far the best candidate running. The winner will face WFP candidate Janai McDonough (nice lady) and Republican Craig Johnson. I hope the winner of the Democratic primary will be supported by the party so we hang on to that seat.
Ward 6: Elisa Ball all the way, I can safely say I am confident that Elisa will win in November :) Elisa who is running unopposed will be a great Alderwoman and I think she has potential to go on to MUCH HIGHER office. Elisa could go on and be our state senator someday.
Ward 7: I have my finger on the pulse of Ward 7, I know a lot of people in the ward and Maryann Mills is very popular and the residents are really excited about her candidacy. Maryann should be considered the favorite, she definatly has my vote and the vote of my family.
Ward 8- Bob Senor is running unopposed but he is running unopposed because he does a good job and is an advocate for Ward 8. Senor works hard and always comes prepared and does what is in the best interest of his constituents.
Ward 9- Republican Debbie Brown was thrown off the ballot last week for issues with her petitions, she has the Conservative line and from what I hear is circulating petitions for a minor party line. Nine is one of the most Democratic wards in Kingston so whomever wins the primary between John Smiek and Mark Halwick will be the next Alderman.
Four primaries going on that I care about for County Legislature:
New Paltz: It is very important that Hector Rodriguez be returned to the legislature, he faces a primary from a guy that in my opinion is being used to run by the New Paltz committee. Hector is extremely hard working and dedicated. Hector is the type of guy that would do anything for anybody, does not matter who you are or what your party registration is he is a damn good guy and I hope he is returned to the legislature to serve another term.
Rochester: Terry Bernardo is the only qualified candidate running in that district. Head and shoulders above her opponent. Terry is a successful business owner, as a freshman legislator has been hands on involved in her district and someone that does what is right regardless of the political fall out. Bernardo is a role model and an example of how all legislators should act like. If we had 33 Terry Bernardo's on the legislature, Ulster County would be in great shape.
Kingston: Mike Madsen needs to be returned to the legislature, I like Dave Donaldson and I like Lenny Walker a great deal but Madsen is the clear choice. Madsen like the other three I just mentioned has the passion and work ethic that is not common on the current legislative body and deserves another term.
Jeanette Provanzano on a semi related note is now running unopposed, her opponents petitions were thrown out. I am fortunate that I have Jeannette as my legislator and look forward to her being the next and first woman to Chair the Ulster County legislature, when Democrats take back control on January 1, 2012