COOPERSTOWN — With Otsego County Democrats planning a vigorous charge to wrest control of county government from the GOP, the Otsego County Republican Committee has lined up a hard-nosed competitor of its own — Oneonta Town Board Member William Mirabito of the town of Oneonta — to serve as its vice chairman.
Mirabito, 53, said he plans to use his experience as a local businessman to help the county GOP organization with fundraising.
“The main thing is I wanted to get a little more Oneonta influence on the county Republican committee,” he said in an interview Tuesday. “I think I can connect with folks who would support the party. That’s why I’m getting involved.”
He said he does not want to cede any part of the county to the Democratic Party, even the city of Oneonta, long a bastion for the Democrats and a place where GOP hopefuls have been routinely dispatched as sacrificial lambs.
“I think you are going to see a little bit of a comeback for us in the city,” said Mirabito.
The Democratic Party picked up two competitive districts on the county’s Board of Representatives two years ago, with Rep. John Kosmer, D-Fly Creek, defeating incumbent Jim Johnson, R-Fly Creek, and Rep. Beth Rosenthal, D-Roseboom, defeating GOP challenger Ray Holohan of Middlefield.
That left the county board with seven Democrats and seven Republicans, though the GOP still holds a majority of weighted votes.
In the coming election, the GOP has yet to field a challenger against Kosmer, an anti-fracking activist. The Republicans have settled on a candidate against Rosenthal in the person of Bill Glockler of Middlefield, who has been active in organizing opposition to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s controversial new gun control law.
County GOP Chairwoman Sheila Ross said she is pleased that Mirabito, a long-time Republican committeeman, is moving up to the vice chairman slot.