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July 10, 2013

Sustainable Otsego endorses five for Otsego board

(Continued)

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.”

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