Shandaken Democrats pick slate for fall

By Jay Braman Jr.
Shandaken Democrats came up with a full slate of candidates at their party caucus at the Glenford Park Pavilion last Tuesday evening.
As expected, there were no challenges to incumbent supervisor Peter DiSclafani, seeking his second two-year term. He will face Republican Challenger Rob Stanley, a town councilman now at the end of his first four-year term.
Nor were there challenges to four-year town assessor candidate Pete DiModica, a former town supervisor, who just last month was appointed to fill an assessor’s vacancy left by Rose Rotella, who resigned earlier this year. Two-year assessor candidate Carol Seitz, head of the Woodland Valley Association, also faced no challenge. The two face off against two Republicans, former assessor candidate John Horn and Linda Arnold, who described her placement on the ballot at this point as a place holder until the GOP found another candidate.
There were races for other positions though.
Incumbent Doris Bartlett and planning board member Barbara Redfield won Democratic candidacies for town council by defeating third candidate Randy Ostrander with 71, 53 and 33 votes respectively. They will face former school administrator Jack Jordan, a Republican, of Pine Hill, who lost a bid for the same position two years ago, and former Democratic chairwoman Pat Ellison, a Kingston attorney running on the Republican ticket.
There were also run offs for highway superintendent and town justice candidates.
For highway superintendent, incumbent Eric Hofmeister, a Republican who ran on the Democratic ticket two years ago, talked about his cost savings, grants writing, and recent receipt of federal notice that the town was on the verge of getting $500,000 in new highway project funds.
Hofmeister will have a rematch this year with the man he defeated two years ago, former superintendent Keith Johnson, an independent running on the GOP ticket. Johnson tried for the Democratic nod last week but Hofmeister ended up defeating by 71 to 17 votes.
In the justice’s race, incumbent Democratic justice Mike Miranda, a former county prosecutor, and political newcomer Amy Brown, a non-lawyer who runs the Zen Mountain Monastery’s prison help program, defeated Republican incumbent Tom Crucet and political newcomer Michael J. Moran, a former law professor, by a vote of 76 for Miranda, 45 for Brown, 34 for Crucet and eight for Moran.
Miranda and Brown will face off against Crucet, an attorney seeking his third term as town justice, and longstanding planning board member Charlie Frasier, also without legal background, come November.
DiSclafani, accepting the nomination, spoke of having loved his years of service to the town and noted how pleased he is with the gradual shift to a Democratically controlled Shandaken.
“Believe me, the last few election results were no accident,” he said. “Change has come to Shandaken.”
About 140 Democrats were in attendance.