In prepared statements, neither Keator nor Ross made any reference to Bachman, who has already been endorsed by Crowell as well as by County Rep. Don Lindberg, R-Worcester.
Otsego County Democratic Deputy Chairman Hank Nicols described Bachman as a non-partisan professional financial manager who has refused to join the Democratic Party out of his preference to remain independent. Nicols also predicted that more Republicans will come out for Bachman, 68, of Edmeston after he took a leading role in guiding the county government through the ongoing process of privatizing the Otsego Manor nursing home.
“It makes sense to have a steady hand at the helm,” Nicols said.
This will be the second attempt by Keator to become country treasurer in four years. In 2009, he defeated his old boss, then incumbent Treasurer Myrna Thane, in a Republican primary, only to lose to Crowell in the general election by just 156 votes.
The treasurer’s job pays $62,740 a year.
Previously, Keator has worked as an accountant in the treasurer’s office but left in 2009 when he had a disagreement with Thane, according to an account in The Daily Star that year. He operates Ed’s Bookkeeping & Tax Service in West Oneonta, and has also worked for Thomas C. Potter, CPA; The Arc Otsego and Gruver & Scott, CPAs.
Bachman, an Air Force veteran, earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from New Jersey City College and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He also holds a master’s degree in guidance counseling.
Before working as the financial officer at Otsego Manor, he was an executive for Scanvec Inc., a computer software firm in Massachusetts. He has also been employed as the general manager of Auto Graphica Corp., based in New Jersey.
In helping Bachman, Democrats have started their own upstart party, Otsego First. They are also scrambling for signatures to get Bachman on the ballot.