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Local News

October 17, 2013

Candidates to square off in debates

COOPERSTOWN — With the Nov. 5 election less than three weeks away, no debates have been organized for the two candidates competing for the Otsego County treasurer’s job. Of five districts for the county board, four are now scheduled to have debates featuring new candidates vying for those seats.

The first debate scheduled has been set up by the League of Women Voters of the Oneonta Area. That event will showcase the two candidates seeking to replace county Rep. Rich Murphy, D-town of Oneonta, in District 4 — Janet Hurley-Quackenbush, a Republican and a member of the Oneonta town board, and Daniel Buttermann, a Democrat.

That event — to be held from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 23 at the Otsego Grille in Morris Hall at the State University at Oneonta campus — will also feature a debate between the four candidates for two vacancies on the Oneonta town board — Brett Holleran, Patricia Jacob, Andrew Stammel and Fred Volpe.

There will also be presentations from the three candidates for Oneonta Town Justice: Sean Farrell, Dawn Oliver and Bruce Smith.

In an election season that has the potential to alter the balance of power for county government, three more debates have now been scheduled for candidates seeking seats on the Otsego County Board of Representatives. The county board now has seven Republicans and seven Democrats, with the GOP in the majority due to the weighted voting system.

Otsego County Democratic Chairman Richard Abbate said the debates help voters to become familiar with the candidates and their points of view.

“It’s important to have an event where the residents can ask questions of the candidates and get to know their positions on the issues that matter to them,” Abbate said. “A live, open debate is the best way to find out what the candidates really stand for.”

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