As it is common just before Election Day, we issue a final commentary and brief review of the candidates with our principles and values that we feel will best serve us in the years ahead. While off-year elections are not usually as exciting as the years when the president, governor or senators are up for election, this year is a very exciting year for Saugerties — the majority of our candidates are not “career politicians,” and some are enrolled Conservatives—they deserve your vote.
On the Town Board, Al Bruno and George Heidcamp are running for councilman positions.
Al Bruno is a former County Legislator for Saugerties District 2. He is a registered Republican with both Republican and Conservative support—Al’s a great guy with lots of experience who’s worked hard for Saugerties in many ways for many years. Al has been on several town committees over the years, including the current chairman of the Saugerties Board of Assessment Review and former chairman of the Saugerties Ethics Committee. He is also a member of the Saugerties Transportation Advisory Committee and former member of Saugerties Conservation Advisory Committee/Climate Smart Committee.
George is well-known in this town, having served in the Police Department for 38-years, as well as being on the Saugerties School Board (as its vice president and then president) for nine years, the Board of Directors of Diaz Ambulance for six years, and co-chairing the fundraising and construction of the Small World Playground. George is a registered Conservative and this is the first time he is running for office. And we all know what a hard worker George is.
Diane Friedmann is the Republican and Conservative candidate for Receiver of Taxes.
Running for Town Justice is another long-time Conservative—Gaetana Ciarlante. Gaetana is a strong constitutionalist who is true to her Conservative principles and values and has been an ardent supporter and volunteer of community causes and projects over many years—Secretary to the Saugerties Fish and Game Club, founder and director of Operation SOS (a non-profit voluntary 5013c which supports American deployed service people and veterans); and outspoken about issues impacting individual rights as well as issues that endanger the town residents as a whole. She is fair and honest and will not play politics—rather, everything will be “by the book,” and everyone will be treated fairly and equally. She is our “Justice for All” candidate.
Unfortunately there is only one Conservative on the ballot for County Legislator in Saugerties, and that’s Jason Kovacs for Legislative District-3. Jason has been the town attorney in the Town of Ulster for fourteen years (part of District-3 includes part of the Town of Ulster). Community involvement has always been important to Jason Kovacs—he is currently library trustee, a Cub Scout Den Leader and a Saugerties AYSO soccer coach. He is also a member and past-president of the Ulster County Bar Association.
For Ulster County District Attorney, the Conservative Party enthusiastically selected Mike Kavanagh as the best candidate for the job. This County needs a district attorney who will do the job and do it the way it is intended. The list of endorsements that Mike has from law enforcement and the legal community is much too long to repeat here—suffice it to say, he has garnered more than forty judicial and law enforcement endorsements, and is very well respected and highly recommended.
The Musical Political Parties Game
Recently there has been a new campaign ploy that political hopefuls play in order to gain an advantage. Instead of campaigning on their values and merits, they jockey political parties, moving from one to another, depending upon “how the wind blows.” Four years ago, Mike Ivino came to the Conservative caucus and told us everything we wanted to hear. But shortly after being elected, he changed his tune and indicated that for the next election, he would run as a Democrat because the numbers would be in his favor—and that’s just what he did. He appears to have made political decisions based upon the possibility of gaining Democrat favor for the next election (case in point, the gun show decision). And as he had promised, he is running this year on the Democrat ticket—musical parties.
We have George Heidcamp and Al Bruno—they have not sold their souls but stick to their principles.
Then there is Stan O’Dell, who is running for Town Justice on the Republican and Working Families lines. Initially Stan was a registered Republican. But Stan, just as Mike Ivino had, thought it would be advantageous to play the "musical parties" game and switch to the Democrat Party in hopes of getting their endorsement. However, that didn’t pan out and Stan lost at the Democrat caucus. More musical parties—he then sought and acquired the Working Families Party line. He had been warned by Conservatives that running for the Working Families Party line, a left-wing progressive organization, would virtually eliminate him from competition. He didn’t listen, he was all over the map—obviously principles mean nothing to him; the only thing he seems to care about is winning.
Anyone who is sans principles, will not be a good judge, whether that’s by appearance or in reality. Again, however, as with Mike Ivino, there is another candidate who hasn’t sold her soul to the highest bidder—and that’s Gaetana Ciarlante. She, too, sticks to her Conservative principles and an honest and principled person will make the best judge.
Remember, Conservative candidates are proponents of limited government and careful spending. We are fortunate to have Conservative candidates in this year's race. They are our candidates and deserve to be supported in the coming election. Allegiance to Conservative principles should and must be rewarded with your vote on November 7th—or earlier. Voting early is easy—try it.