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Local News

December 28, 2013

Guns, Manor fueled yearlong feuds


Several candidates for re-election who were tied to the county Conservative Party or to Ethington fared poorly at the polls in November.

Among those being shown the door by voters was Cobleskill Town Supervisor Tom Murray, a Democrat with close ties to the Conservatives. Murray was spanked in the general election by his GOP opponent, Leo McCallister, who racked up 71 percent of the votes in the general election.

Also soundly beaten was Jefferson Town Supervisor Dan Singletary, a Republican active in Conservative circles and a backer of Ethington. He will be replaced by Sean Jordan, a former county employee who is also a Republican.

Following the election, Schoharie County Treasurer William Cherry, a Republican, said there are many good Conservative Party members in the county but they paid the price for a party that was “taken over by a faction of disgruntled Republicans using extreme tactics.”

With congressional terms only two years long, incumbents find themselves in a cycle of either running for re-election or girding for their next challenge. Such was the case for Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, who came under frequent attack from Sean Eldridge, a Democrat who moved into the district this year after marrying wealthy Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes.

It remains unclear whether Eldridge, a native of Canada who was raised in Ohio and now lists his address as Shokan, will be the Democratic Party nominee, though Otsego County Democratic Chairman Rich Abbate said his organization is poised to back him. Because the district is viewed as competitive, the contest is expected to attract a deluge of campaign donations for both sides.

Not much was settled in 2013 in the ongoing debate over draft state regulations that would allow the gas drilling industry to begin cracking through layers of shale to tap trapped deposits of natural gas.

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