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May 16, 2013

Board hopeful, 29, has Murphy's support

By Joe Mahoney Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — COOPERSTOWN — Dan Buttermann, 29, is a fresh face in Otsego County politics, and if he is successful in his maiden run for public office, he will be representing the residents of the town of Oneonta on the county Board of Representatives next Jan. 1.

A native of Arizona, Buttermann moved to Oneonta in 2011 after his wife landed a job as a professor at Harwick College. He now works at Central New York Insurance Co. in Edmeston, holding a position that he says gives him a business background that he thinks will help him grapple with the county’s fiscal situation.

Buttermann, a Democrat, is being supported both by Rep. Rich Murphy, D-town of Oneonta, the current occupant of the District 4 seat, as well as by the Otsego County Democratic Committee.

Murphy, 63, who announced last week he is not seeking re-election this year, said he will assist Buttermann on the campaign trail.

The GOP has yet to field a candidate for the seat, though Otsego County Republican Chairwoman Sheila Ross said Oneonta Republican leaders are working on finding a candidate.

Buttermann said he views his entry as a relatively new resident of the region as an asset. “I think I bring a perspective as a non-native that you have not seen here in a while,” he said during an interview in Cooperstown.

Asked why he wants to represent the district, he said: “I plan to be here for at least 10 or 15 years. The county is going to change, and I want some control over that. I want to be part of the solution for the county, and I think I have the skills and the background to do it.”

He said he opposes hydraulic fracturing for natural gas as well as the proposed Constitution Pipeline project. He said he believes that having vibrant small businesses is essential to the future of the region. And he said he supports the controversial decision by the county board to privatize the debt-ridden Otsego Manor nursing home. However, he added, he wants to review more information regarding the decision to sell the facility through the creation of a local development corporation.

Buttermann is the fourth non-incumbent candidate for county board to be put forward by the Democrats this year. The others are: Teresa Winchester of Butternuts, who is targeting Rep. James Powers, R-Butternuts; New Lisbon Town Councilman Ed Lentz, who will face Milford contractor Jamie Waters, a Republican, in a matchup for the seat now held by Rep. Pauline Koren, R-Milford; and Stuart Anderson, an Otego Republican who garnered the backing of Democrats when he expressed interest in running against Board Chairwoman Kathleen Clark, R-Otego.

Otsego County Democratic Chairman Richard Abbate said his party is in discussons with a potential candidate who could challenge Rep. Don Lindberg, R-Worcester. But no decision has been made, he said.

He said it is likely that two incumbent Republicans — veteran Reps. Betty Anne Schwerd of Burlington and Keith McCarty of Springfield — will go unchallenged this year.

The only non-incumbent candidates put forward by the GOP so far are William Glocker of Middlefield, who is opposing Rep. Beth Rosenthal, D-Roseboom, and Waters, who is hoping to capture Koren’s seat. Koren, still in her first term, opted not to seek re-election.