Thursday, May 11, 2017

Endorsed Candidates for 2017 Elections

The Hudson City Democratic Committee (HCDC) has, to date, endorsed a dozen local candidates whose goals align with the committee’s vision of "Progress for All." The candidates have committed to work toward a more inclusive city that meets the needs of all its residents. These candidates have identified economic development, affordable housing, and the waterfront as important issues for the next term.

“We have a great team,” says HCDC chair Michael Chameides. “Our diversity is a strength. We have candidates who grew up in Hudson and others who moved here as adults, some with outstanding experience in government and some new to the political process. All are passionate about our city.”


CITY-WIDE CANDIDATES

Rick Rector is the endorsed Democratic candidate for mayor. In his current position of 1st Ward alderman, Rector chairs the city’s committees for Economic Development and for Arts, Entertainment and Tourism. Additionally, Rector has served on the City’s Historic Preservation Commission for the past six years and as chair for five years.

“My agenda is simple,” says Rector. “Be fair. Be honest. Be dependable. Be respectful. Do what is right and best for the entire community. We are one Hudson.”

“Rick is an impressive council member,” says Kevin Hannan, vice chair of the HCDC. “He is passionate, he works hard, and he is a great collaborator.” View the campaign website.

Incumbent treasurer Heather S. Campbell was endorsed by the HCDC for another term. In her first two terms, Campbell improved the city’s financial record-keeping and forecasting, created financial policies to enable better long-term planning, and collaborated on successful projects to save the city money and bring in new revenue.  

SUPERVISORS

The Hudson City Democratic Committee endorsed Sarah Sterling, Michael Chameides, William Hughes, Jr, and Richard E. Scalera for county supervisor. Supervisors are legislators at the county level and sit on the Board of Supervisors.

Incumbent Sarah Sterling is the endorsed 1st Ward candidate. As supervisor, Sterling worked to secure financing of the Ferry Street Bridge, which reduced city taxpayers’ portion of the cost. She is also Secretary for CEDC and serves on numerous committees for the county along with union contract negotiations.

Michael Chameides is the endorsed 3rd Ward candidate. Chameides has served on the HCDC for more than two years and has helped to build and strengthen the organization. As supervisor, he hopes to increase collaboration between Hudson and the county, looking to improve programs, services, and resources that ensure a diverse and vibrant community. View the campaign website.

Incumbent William Hughes, Jr is the endorsed 4th Ward candidate. As supervisor, Hughes, the county minority leader, created the Columbia County Opioid Epidemic Response Plan and is leading an effort to study affordable housing needs.

Incumbent Richard E. Scalera is the endorsed 5th Ward candidate. As supervisor, Scalera negotiated contracts with four bargaining units of the city, balancing taxpayer savings with fair wages. He also sits on the Health and Human Services and County Government committees.

COMMON COUNCIL

The HCDC endorsed Kamal Johnson, Shershah Mizan, Calvin Lewis, Jonathan Rosenthal, Eileen Halloran, and Dominic Merante for alderperson, the city government legislators.

Kamal Johnson is the endorsed 1st Ward candidate. Johnson, co-host of WGXC’s “Drive Time Radio,” has worked with youth for 13 years. He worked on the initial planning process of the Promise Neighborhood Planning Grant and serves as the coordinator of Promise Opportunity Parenting Strengths (POPS), a fatherhood initiative run by fathers in the community. He seeks to bridge intergenerational and socioeconomic gaps to improve residents’ quality of life.

Shershah Mizan and Calvin Lewis are endorsed 3rd Ward candidates. Mizan, an HCDC member and volunteer with the Hudson Islamic Center and the Hudson Lions Club, is concerned about education and job training, quality of life, and keeping city expenses low. Lewis, a mentor at the Mental Health Association who serves on the Youth Center’s recreation staff, wants to improve youth services as part of a long-term investment in the city’s future.

John Rosenthal is the endorsed 4th Ward candidate. Rosenthal, a writer and researcher as well as collaborative programmer and manager at Second Ward Foundation, would actively seek solutions to reduce truck traffic. He would create more transparent and active economic development policy to improve Hudson’s long-term future.

Eileen Halloran and Dominic Merante are the endorsed 5th Ward candidates. Halloran will use her experience as former city treasurer and as current treasurer of the Hudson Development Corporation to address cost-of-living issues and to bolster the city’s long-term planning efforts. Merante has 30 years of human services experience, including at the city’s Youth Department, and looks forward to a day when the city and its amenities are fully accessible.

ENDORSEMENT PROCESS

The HCDC engaged in an intensive process to identify candidates. Questionnaires elicited information about those candidates’ goals as elected officials, the experiences that demonstrate their effectiveness, and the skills that can take them further. With an unprecedented number of candidates eager to run on the Democratic line, the committee conducted 15 hours of formal interviews and engaged in countless hours of informal discussion. Committee members then met and discussed the best way forward.

“We were extremely fortunate to have so many very qualified candidates to interview and consider,” said Chameides. “In a sense, that made the committee’s job more difficult, because there were many more candidates than there are open positions. But all of these candidates are eager to serve the city even if they are not endorsed or do not succeed in November, and we’re grateful for that. In races where members could reach a clear agreement, the committee issued endorsements. In quite a few instances, there were so many more strong candidates than there are open seats that the committee felt it best not to endorse any at all, which is to say that members found the candidates equally attractive. There are likely to be quite a few primary races on the Democratic line in September, so the city’s Democrats will of course make the ultimate determination of who appears on Row A.”

Regardless of whether one has the HCDC endorsement, a candidate must petition to be on the ballot. If there are more Democratic candidates than positions, candidates will run in a September primary.

Prior to the September primaries, the HCDC may issue more endorsements.

HCDC

The Hudson City Democratic Committee is the official local body of the Democratic Party. The committee is a diverse body of Democrats with representatives from throughout the city. Committee members are elected in the Democratic primaries, sit also on the Columbia County Democratic Committee, and serve two-year terms that expire in September of this year. Interested Democrats can petition to join the committee this summer, beginning June 6. More information is available from Michael Chameides at chair@hudsoncitydemocrats.org or 518.755.9822. Information can also be found at the Board of Elections at 518.828.3115.


SUPPORT THE CANDIDATES

Make a donation and support the Democratic slate. Your contribution will fund grassroots events with candidates, lawn signs, and other print materials.

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Stay tuned: In early June, we will be gathering petition signatures to get candidates on the Democratic line of the ballot.

Want to get involved? Contact Michael Chameides at chair@hudsoncitydemocrats.org or 518.755.9822. The Board of Elections can be reached at 518.828.3115 or at elections@columbiacountyny.com.