The first step in our effort to return government to the people is to elect candidates to office who will adhere to the Conservative Principles outlined on the Home Page. To achieve that, we endorsed the following candidates (who went on to be elected) that had either proven themselves worthy by past actions or had shown promise for future actions.
For Congress — Chris Gibson
[taken from the Gibson website]
Chris Gibson grew up in a working class family in Columbia County, in the town of Kinderhook. The son of a union man, Chris attended Ichabod Crane, the local public school.
At 17, Chris enlisted in the New York National Guard and later earned an ROTC Commission at nearby Siena College. The first in his family to go to college, Chris graduated magna cum laude with a BA in History, using a combination of National Guard pay, Pell Grants, Stafford Loans and part-time work to pay for college. While in the Army, he later earned an MPA and PhD in Government from Cornell University and is the author of Securing the State, a book on national security decision-making published in 2008.
Over the course of his 24 year Army career, Chris rose to the rank of Colonel and deployed seven times. This included four combat tours to Iraq, and separate deployments to Kosovo, the Southwestern US for a counter-drug operation, and most recently - just prior to his retirement - Haiti where he commanded the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT) during the opening month of that humanitarian relief operation. The Secretary of the Army awarded the BCT the Superior Unit Award for their actions in Haiti.
Chris earned two Legions of Merit, four Bronze Star Medals, the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge with Star, the Master Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab. For their actions in Mosul in support of the first national election in the new Iraq, his Battalion Task Force earned the Valorous Unit Award. For their actions in Tal Afar during the 2nd and 3rd national elections in Iraq his Battalion and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment were recognized for excellence by President George W. Bush and earned a 2nd Valorous Unit Award.
Other key assignments included tours teaching American Politics at the United States Military Academy at West Point, serving as a Congressional Fellow with US Representative Jerry Lewis (R-CA), the Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and completing a Hoover National Security Affairs Fellowship at Stanford University. Chris was also the Distinguished Honor Graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College.
After retiring from the Army in 2010, Chris and his family returned home to Kinderhook and now live around the corner from where he grew up and his mom still lives. He was elected to represent the 20th Congressional District in 2010 and re-elected in 2012 to represent the 19th Congressional District.
In Congress, Chris serves on the House Armed Services Committee (Subcommittees: Tactical Air and Land Forces; Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities; Military Personnel), the House Agriculture Committee (Subcommittees: General Farm Commodities and Risk Management; Livestock, Rural Development, and Credit), and the Republican Policy Committee.
Chris has been married to Mary Jo, a NYS Licensed Clinical Social Worker, for over 16 years and they have three children: Katie (15), Maggie (13) and Connor (12). Chris is active in several civic organizations in Kinderhook, including the American Legion, VFW, NRA, the Knights of Columbus and St. John’s Church of Valatie.
Read more at: http://www.chrisgibsonforcongress.com/
For State Senate — George Amedore
[taken from the Amedore website]
On the Issues: New York State is simply not affordable. The cost of living is forcing seniors out of the homes they've raised their families in, and causing young families to move out of state to find better job opportunities. The cost of doing business is forcing generations-old family businesses to close their doors, and keeping new businesses from locating here, stifling job creation and economic development. I am running for Senate because we can do better -- I want to be part of the solutions that fosters an atmosphere that will allow our communities to thrive once again.
- Property Tax Relief:
- Stop unfunded mandates;
- Eliminate the GEA (Gap Elimination Adjustment) which devastated Upstate schools;
- State takeover of Medicaid (shifting those costs back to the State instead of the County will provide much needed relief to our taxpayers);
- Restoration of STAR Rebate checks.
- Decreased regulations;
- Tax and Fee relief;
- Workforce development/training.
- Reform Common Core;
- Early Vocational Training.
- Elimination of the 18-A;
- Investments in Alternative Energy Sources.
- Term Limits -- Supports term limits for elected representatives;
- Pensions -- Immediately strip pension benefits from any elected representative who is convicted of public corruption.
Rural Resurgence Initiatives:
- Property tax relief -- Increase the STAR and enhanced STAR exemptions for homeowners in rural counties;
- Infrastructure improvements;
- Energy efficiency.
- More details are available at: http://www.georgeamedore.com/
For State Assembly — Pete Lopez
[taken from the Lopez website]
Pete Lopez was first elected to the Assembly on November 7, 2006. The son of a working class family, Pete scrubbed floors, stocked store shelves, baled hay and scraped fish -- all in the hopes of funding his college education and building a future in New York State. Prior to serving in the Assembly, Pete served as the Schoharie County clerk, and as staff to the New York State Legislature for 21 years, where he worked with a broad range of public and private interests at the federal, state and local levels to improve the quality of life for the people of New York State. In addition as serving as Schoharie County Clerk, Pete also served as a village trustee, town councilman, member of the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors, where he devoted himself to meeting pressing local concerns. While holding these offices, Pete was appointed to the Association of Counties' Statewide Transportation Advisory Committee and the Association of Towns' Statewide Legislative Advisory Committee. In recognition of his town and county service, Schoharie County Operation Desert Care awarded Pete the David Williams Award for Preservation of Freedom. A strong believer in volunteerism, he continues to support many organizations and has served as an altar server trainer, cantor and lector at St. Joseph's and St. Catherine's churches (now Our Lady of the Valley), a community band member, Red Cross water safety instructor, Schoharie Youth Soccer director and coach, Schoharie Central School Ski Club advisor, black belt karate instructor for the Zen Do Kai Martial Arts Association, Eagle Scout project advisor, member of an advisory committee on runaway and troubled youth, and as Chairman of the Schoharie Main Street Committee. He was a founding member of Habitat for Humanity of Schoharie County. Additionally, Pete has served as a board member of Bassett Hospital of Schoharie County, Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce, the SUNY Cobleskill Foundation and the SUNY Cobleskill Alumni Association. An honors graduate of Schoharie Central School, the State University College at Cobleskill, and the University at Albany where he earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, Pete has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from both SUNY Cobleskill and SUNY Albany, the State University of New York's Golden Anniversary Chancellor's Recognition award, the New York State Masons' General Douglas MacArthur Award for Service to Youth, the Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce's Leader of the Year Award, and most recently, the Times Journal Star of the Year Award for his dedicated efforts in helping communities recover from the devastation of Hurricane Irene & Tropical Storm Lee. Pete resides on Spring Street in the Village of Schoharie with his wife Lisa, and has four children Brandon, Stephanie, Noah and Ben.
Some of Pete’s Top Priorities:*
1) Tax Relief for Our Hard Working Families.
2) Supporting Our Farms and Small Businesses.
3) Growing Jobs for Our People.
4) Securing Our Energy Independence.
5) Ending Unfunded Mandates / Reducing Duplication of Government Services .
6) Helping Our Communities Recover From Irene, Lee & Sandy.
7) Promoting Quality, Affordable Public Education.
*They are available on the Pete Lopez website: http://lopez4ny.com/
For Supreme Court Justice — Lisa Fisher
[taken from the Albany County GOP website]
Lisa M. Fisher, 47, a Greene County resident and Kingston attorney, is our candidate for Supreme Court Justice in the Third Judicial District. Ms. Fisher has over 20 years of experience trying cases in all courts of New York, including Supreme, Family, County, federal and town and village courts.
“I am running for state Supreme Court in order to bring my real-world, practical experience representing clients as both a private attorney and as a public defender to the bench. I understand how litigants can often find the justice system intimidating and confusing. If nominated and elected to Supreme Court I will work hard to insure that all parties before the court are treated fairly and respectfully”, said Ms. Fisher.
Ms. Fisher maintained her own general practice firm for 17 years handling a broad array of civil litigation. In addition, she has served as an Assistant Public Defender for the Ulster County Public Defender’s Office, staff attorney for the Ulster County Department of Social Services, and Court attorney for Hon. Edward T. Feeney, Kingston City Court. Ms. Fisher is fluent in Spanish and served as the Assigned Counsel for Spanish speaking litigants from 2007 to 2011, until returning full time to the Ulster County Public Defender’s office as an Assistant Public Defender, in the Family Court Division.
Ms. Fisher and her husband, John H. Fisher, reside in New Baltimore, New York, with their three teenage children.
Ms. Fisher will be the only elected female trial judge in the seven-county Third Judicial District. She feels that she can add much needed diversity to the bench.
“Lisa Fisher is someone who is well-known in legal circles in Ulster County. I can’t say enough how impressed I am with her credentials and what an asset she’ll be on the bench. I would also note that there currently are no elected women judges on the bench in the Third JD. We have an opportunity to elect an outstanding, female attorney to the bench this year in Lisa Fisher”, said Ulster County GOP Chairman Roger Rascoe.
“I strongly support Lisa Fisher’s candidacy”, stated Greene County Conservative Party Vice-Chairman Michael Buttino. “Lisa is dedicated and sincere, yet has the toughness to make a fine judge. I’m happy that she is seeking the position of Supreme Court Justice”, concluded Buttino.
The Third Judicial district includes Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties. The position, which has a 14-year term, is vacant due to the resignation of the Honorable Joseph Teresi.
Ms. Fisher is available for interviews and can be contacted at her website, www.LisaForSupreme.com or LFisher@LisaForSupreme.com.
For Family Court Judge — Keri Savona
[taken from the Keri E. Savona website]
As a Supervising Attorney for the Ulster County Department of Social Services I have experience dealing with significant and important issues that impact not only every family involved in the Family Court system, but also in our community where the litigants are our families, friends and neighbors. I have worked hard to have a positive impact in their lives. The judge who presides over these cases must be compassionate, fair, firm and able to focus on the real issues before her so that the needs of the family can be dealt with competently and efficiently. The judge must be one with strong mediation skills so as to promote fair and prompt resolutions. I have demonstrated all of those skills as an attorney in Family Court and I ask for your support in November.
For Ulster County Sheriff — Paul Van Blarcum
[taken from the Ulster County Sheriff's website]
Paul J. Van Blarcum is serving his second four-year term as Ulster County Sheriff. During his first term, Sheriff Van Blarcum presided over the opening of the new Ulster County Law Enforcement Center in February 2007. The following month he launched the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team (URGENT), appointing Undersheriff Frank Faluotico in charge. During 2008, he initiated the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, which has resulted in regular arrests of online sexual predators. In January 2010 he deployed a team of Sheriff's Office volunteers to Haiti to help earthquake victims.
Paul VanBlarcum joined the Sheriff’s Office in June of 1976. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1987 and has served in every division including patrol, investigations, corrections, security, civil, training, marine, and S.C.U.B.A. He is a 2009 graduate of the FBI National Academy, and in 2008 he graduated from the National Sheriff’s Institute in Colorado. .His career also includes having been past president of the Ulster County Sheriff's Employees' Association and past vice-president of the Ulster County Sheriff's Police Benevolent Association.The Sheriff has completed numerous law enforcement and corrections training schools and courses. His background includes a 1998 tour of service for the United Nations International Police Task Force in war-torn Bosnia , where he organized 'Operation Cinderella', a shoe drive that gathered over 17,000 pairs of shoes for the needy people of that country. That same year he was awarded the Ulster County Police Chief’s Award and the Pride of Ulster County Award. Having also served on the Onteora School Board and the Shandaken Town Council, Paul is a lifelong resident of Ulster County.