Primary heats up Andes race

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By Pauline Liu
Now that the primaries are over, local political races are heating up, especially in the Town of Andes, where Republican incumbents seeking re-election are facing challengers.

Last Tuesday’s Republican primary for Andes town clerk resulted in an almost 2-to-1 upset. Incumbent Janis Lynn Jacques, who has held the job since 1996, was unseated by challenger Kimberly A. Tosi.  The official results, which were posted on Tuesday and took into account absentee ballots, gave the win to Tosi with108 votes to Jacques’ 60 votes. 

“I would just like to thank everyone that came out and voted for their support,” said Tosi.
However, Jacques’ bid for re-election is not over. Both she and Tosi are also running as independents. “They will both be on the ballot in the fall, but as you can see the Republican line belonged to Kimberly,” said Bill Campbell, Delaware County’s Republican Commissioner of Elections.

No comment
Jacques, has declined the News’ repeated requests to discuss her campaign. According to a political advertisement which was placed in the September issue of Andes Gazette, her campaign slogan is “experience, dedication, knowledge, team work. Always looking to save you money and keep you informed.” She is a 1964 graduate of Andes Central School.

Tosi is a registered Republican, who also has the Democratic endorsement. “I will be on the Republican, Democratic, and Peoples Voice (Independent) ballots this fall,” she said. While her strategy is unusual, it’s not unique. Tosi’s father, who is Andes Highway Superintendent Mike Mc-Adams, has adopted a similar strategy in his bid for re-election.

“It’s unusual for Democrats to endorse Republicans, but it’s happening a lot this election year,” said the county’s Deputy Democratic Commissioner of Elections, Paula Schermerhorn. “Her (Tosi’s) father, Mike McAdams, has the endorsement and is running for highway superintendent on the Republican and Peoples Voice lines as well.”

Tosi, 24, graduated from ACS in 2005 as the valedictorian. The married mother with two small children graduated from Ashford University last year with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

“My goals as clerk, are to make more information available to the people,” said Tosi. “I am very good with computers and hope to update the town website, involve e-mail, and most definitely try to get the town meeting minutes out to more people.”

The clerk’s office currently does not use e-mail. Those who want a copy of the town meeting minutes can either ask to have it mailed or pick it up in person.

Other races
Other contested races in Andes are two positions on the town council.

Six-term incumbent, Ritchie Gabriel, and three-term incumbent, Shayne Moshier, are both seeking re-election on the Republican and Independence Party lines. Both incumbents sent the News copies of their campaign statements, explaining their accomplishments.

“I have tried to fulfill my duties as your representative for the taxpayers of the town, making honest and intelligent dec-isions pertaining to current and ongoing issues that involve the town,” wrote Gabriel, who works a maintenance supervisor for SUNY Delhi. 

Experience cited
“I bring to the job many years of experience fighting for you against NYS, NYC, and to keep your taxes as low as possible,” wrote Moshier, who owns the company, Romo Machine, LLC, with his wife Tina.

The pair of incumbent councilmen will be facing former town council member Wayland “Bud” Gladstone Jr. and Tom Hall, who are both running as Democrats and as independents under “Peoples Voice.”

Hall works at the Margaretville Wastewater Treatment Plant and is currently a commissioner for the Andes Fire Department. He explained the changes in the Andes Democratic party as well as what “Peoples Voice” stands for. “ This is a new age Dem Party,” he wrote. “There has always been a Dem party, but not a big party. The Peoples Voice was formed this year among some people to do just that, to let the people in Andes know that there are some people that would like to be heard and acknowledged.”

Gladstone explained that he served on the town council more than 20 years ago and is running  for change in local government. He is a farmer and he comes from a family will a long-standing agricultural tradition in Andes.

Highway super
Tosi’s father, McAdams, who is a five-term incumbent as highway superintendent, explained that he is seeking re-election in order to keep Andes’ infrastructure in good condition.  He will be facing Bill Wagner, who is running as an independent under the slogan, “Better Roads for a Safer Andes, Time for a Change.”  Margaret Moshier has served five terms as tax collector. The Republican candidate explained why she is seeking reelection. “I worked in school food service for many years and I handled the register,” said Moshier. “I worked at Delhi Tech for 10 years and spent five of them at the register. I sincerely feel that my years of previous work, as well as my tax collection experience makes me the best candidate for the position.”

Moshier, who’s son Shayne is running for reelection to the town council, will face  Democratic Challenger Stephanie Soules, who is new to local politics.

“I’ve done bookkeeping,” said Soules in a telephone interview. “I had a son and I’d like to be able to work from home.” She explained that she and family moved from Newburgh and made their home in Andes eight years ago.

Donnelly not challenged
Town Supervisor Marty Donnelly is a seven-term incumbent. He is running unopposed for re-election. He reflected upon his 14 years in public office.

“With support and cooperation, the town board and I, hope to continue to improve on what we have been able to accomplish up until now,” said Donnelly in a telephone interview. “It all depends on funding. We cannot begin a project, unless we know it can be funded without impacting the taxpayers.”

Asked what accomplishments he’s most proud of,  Donnelly listed the Main Street revitalization, the redoing of infrastructure, including sewer lines, drainage, sidewalk and curbs as well the town’s new antique street lighting.