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January 28, 2013

Otsego Dems endorse incumbents

By Denise Richardson
The Daily Star

---- — Otsego County Democratic Committee leaders have endorsed incumbents and are interviewing candidates interested in challenging seated Republicans, a party official said Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Otsego County Republican Committee met Saturday and won’t take any action until its meeting in April, committee Chairwoman Sheila Ross said Sunday. The committee usually doesn’t act this early in the year, she said, and the petition process doesn’t start until June.

On Thursday, the Otsego County Democratic Committee executive board interviewed candidates for various elective positions, according to a media release. On Friday, it announced endorsements of county Treasurer Dan Crowell, other Democratic incumbents throughout the county and of Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller, an independent who seeks to run on the Democratic Party line in November.

Democratic Committee Chairman Richard Abbate said Sunday the board’s endorsements will go to the full committee for approval Feb. 21. Abbate said he expects the full committee will endorse Miller.

“Dick Miller has been a very effective mayor, and the board was very impressed with his presentation on his accomplishments in his first term, and his vision if he is re-elected,’’ Abbate said in Friday’s release. ``We are proud that he will be running on the Democratic line for his re-election.”

No Republican has stepped forward to run for city mayor, Ross said, and Miller’s request will remain pending in case a Republican candidate emerges.

In 2009, Dick Miller, an independent who ran as a Democrat, prevailed over Republican Third Ward Alderman Erik Miller, who was endorsed by the Oneonta City Republican Committee.

The Otsego Democratic Committee is interviewing possible candidates to run against seated Republicans, particularly for the Otsego County Board of Representatives to gain an historic majority, Abbate said.

“We’re excited about this year,’’ Abbate said.

“With Dan Crowell at the top of our ticket, we will be prepared to give the residents the best possible choices in the November elections,’’ Abbate said in the release. “We will work hard to earn the trust of the county residents with our choices.”

The Democratic Committee executive board last week endorsed all incumbent Democratic County Board representatives seeking re-election this year. The endorsements included Richard Murphy of District 4 representing the town of Oneonta; Beth Rosenthal of District 7, representing Cherry Valley, Middlefield and Roseboom; John Kosmer of District 8, Otsego; Gary Koutnik of District 11, Oneonta’s First and Second wards; Linda Rowinski of District 13, Oneonta city’s Fifth and Sixth wards; and Kay Stuligross, District 14, Oneonta city’s Seventh and Eighth wards.

Other endorsements, the release said, were the three Democratic town supervisors — Charles Eckelmann of Butternuts, Robert Taylor of New Lisbon and Robert Wood of Oneonta; and Councilman Tom Hohensee of Otsego and Councilwoman Tracy Laughlin of Cherry Valley.