The other two Democrats candidates running without Sustainable’s endorsement are Teresa Winchester of Butternuts, who is challenging Rep. James Powers, R-Butternuts, for the second time, and Amy Hornburg Heilveil of Oneonta, a waitress at the Depot restaurant, who is seeking the District 12 seat being vacated by Rep. Catherine Rothenberger, D-Oneonta.
One of the county seats seen by both parties as being in play is the one held by Kosmer, who captured the seat two years ago from Jim Johnson, a Fly Creek Republican. Kosmer’s opponent is the immediate past president of the Cooperstown Country Club and is a management consultant.
Kosmer said he expects Republican candidates will attempt to make economic development a major issue even as they try to downplay their support for fracking.
“We’re not going to let them delink themselves from being pro-fracking to talk about economic development,” Kosmer said. “Every time they do, we’re going to say: ‘What have you done to keep Otsego County frack-free?’”
At the same time, Kosmer insisted he was not attempting to make the coming election a referendum on gas drilling. He argued that sound economic development was incompatible with hydrofracking, an activity he said would only benefit the energy industry and hurt the county as a whole.
Rosenthal called for heightened emphasis on long-range planning, and suggested there should be a gardening program at the Otsego County Correctional Facility. She also said she would like to see the Sheriff’s Department look into acquiring fuel-efficient vehicles with smaller engine sizes.
Speaking for the GOP slate, Sheila Ross, the county’s Republican Party chairwoman, said: “Unlike the Democrats, the Republicans are not beholden to narrow-minded special interests. The Republican slate is experienced and is prepared to tackle all the issues that are important to our county and the taxpayers.”