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Reporter's Notebook

January 5, 2013

New Year bringsnew maneuversfor old disputes


“I was elected as an independent who was also allowed to run on the Democratic line, and if - underline “if” -  I choose to run again, i would run as an independent again. And whether I was on the Democratic line or not would be the decision of the Democratic Party to make. I haven’t decided yet if I will run, so all of this seems a bit premature. But I completely support the pipeline, and I will continue to support it.”

Abbate said that at this stage he knows of no Democrat angling for the top job in Oneonta City Hall, and that several prominent city of Oneonta Democrats back Miller.

Political tension also wafted into the Otsego County office building in Cooperstown on Wednesday, when county representatives were faced with the question of whether to replace the board’s vice chairman, Rep. Rich Murphy, D-town of Oneonta, with first-term Rep. Pauline Koren, R-Milford.

The push for Koren appeared to come out of the blue, with Murphy indicating he was as surprised as anyone. But the effort to strip the Democrat of the vice chairmanship on a board made up of seven Republicans and seven Democrats blew up when maverick Rep. Donald Lindberg, R-Worcester, bucked his own party and opted to stick with Murphy.

Lindberg’s hopes of becoming the board chairman a year ago were dashed when Rep. Kathy Clark, R-Otego, ended up capturing the post.

“He did a good job,” Lindberg said in explaining his support for Murphy. “The board is split 7-7 and we ought to get along and get the work done.”

He called the effort to upend Murphy “foolish.”

Otsego County GOP Chairman Sheila Ross said Koren simply wanted the opportunity to increase her level of participation on the county board.

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