Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Columbia County Democrats Endorse Richard Koweek for Hudson City Judge

At its regular monthly meeting on September 17 the Columbia County Democratic Committee endorsed Richard Koweek for Hudson City Judge. After winning the Democratic primary by a nearly 3 to 1 ratio, and the Independence Party primary by a 2 to 1 margin, Mr Koweek now will face Kevin Colwell who won the Republican and Conservative lines, John Lehman and Brian Herman running on third-party lines in November.

Mr. Koweek is a life-long resident of Hudson. He has also been endorsed by the Hudson City Democratic Committee and by Hudson Mayor Rick Scalera and many others.

For more information visit.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Delegates Who Stand up for Democracy and Choice! Report by Virginia Martin

Delegates Who Stand up for Democracy and Choice!
Report by Virginia Martin

This year, when voters in the seven-county Third Judicial District go to the polls, they'll have a choice between candidates, and we say with some pride that Columbia County Democrats played an important role in that support of democracy.

Republican Anthony Carpinello, the Appellate Division Associate Justice running for re-election, was hoping for a cross-endorsement by the Democrats. In the past, that's often happened, because in many years there's only been one candidate, either a Republican or a Democrat. And so, in many years the other party has cross-endorsed.

This year, however, acting Supreme Court Judge Patrick McGrath, who had a long tenure as Rensselaer County Court Judge and before that as City of Troy Police Court Judge, as well as Assistant Rensselaer County DA, threw his hat in the ring, and Columbia County Democrats responded. After interviewing both Carpinello and McGrath and finding McGrath eminently qualified and a good Dem to boot, the Columbia County Democratic Committee was the first county committee to endorse him (and unanimously, at that).

At Friday's judicial convention, a rather astonishing number of Democrats were siding with the Republican, based, as we understand it, on the dual notions that (1) since he was the incumbent and had discharged his duties well, he deserved a clear shot at re-election, without having to fuss with the inconveniences of a challenger and the voting public, and, more importantly, that (2) there was a "deal" for supporting him that had been cut at the 2007 convention. Fact-checking around the seven counties, though, had revealed no such "deal," and even if there had been one, not only had we delegates not been party to it, but those Democrats who signed our designating petitions this summer didn't do so with the understanding that we'd either honor someone else's so-called deal OR nominate a Republican when we had a positively stellar Democrat ready to hit the campaign trail.

At any rate, our county committee voted solidly for Judge McGrath, and a (slender) majority of the other delegates did, too. Thanks are especially due our chair Chris Nolan, who, with Rensselaer County Democratic Committee Chair Tom Wade, worked to persuade other county chairs that we should be trying to bring to a close the days of polite "back-room" cross-endorsement: When a good Democrat wants to run, the last thing we should do is stand in the way.

It was a squeaker, but we won. And then, in the midst of thunderous jubilant cheers, Kinderhook's Doug McGivney charged forward to move for a nomination by acclamation, so that delegation members would leave united in their support of Judge McGrath - - and Doug's motion was seconded and affirmed unanimously, with cheers and not a single peep of dissent.

Columbia County Democrats are making waves, and this example, of giving the voters a choice, is just one of the ways we're doing that! Thanks to Chris, Doug, State Committee member Rose Aulino, who also worked hard for Judge McGrath, and all the delegates who stood up for democracy and CHOICE!

Read more about the judicial convention at the Times Union
For more info on Judge McGrath go to his website.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Martin Van Buren Dinner. A Huge Success!

Photo By Rose Aulino
The Democratic event of the season was sold out. The 1st Annual Martin Van Buren Testimonial Dinner honored Denise King, Todd Parsons, Libby Helpern, Doug McGivney, Virginia Martin and Victor Mendolia and was a resounding success.

The dinner was attended by a wide range of elected officials, committee members and supporters from throughout Columbia County and beyond.

Photo by Ernie Reis

These Photos by Rose Aulino