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Sullivan County primary races

By Fritz Mayer
September 4, 2012

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — There are four primary races that are scheduled for voting on September 13. One of the most interesting is between Kathy Michell, the long-serving Tusten Town Clerk, and businessman Ned Lang. The two are vying to run on the Republican ticket for a chance to fill the vacancy that was created on the town board when Carol Wingert was elected supervisor.

Lang has been highly critical of the current board over a number of issues, including the spending of $154,000 for an engineering study for a proposed esplanade above the river and behind some of the stores on Main Street. Roughly half of the money came from a grant from the state to help pay for the design phase of a project that has been in the discussion phase in successive town administrations for more than 20 years.

Additionally, Lang is involved in legal battles with the town and the town attorney centered around an signage he put up on two of his properties, one put up early in 2011 and one this year. Lang, who was a member of the town zoning board of appeals, resigned the office late in 2011.

In a mailer, Lang accused Michell of summoning the police when “reputable business owners,” tried to question her about town business. In her own mailer, Michell wrote, “I never threatened to call the state police on anyone, never had anyone call the state police for me, nor did I ever call the state police on anyone. That lie is easy to verify since the state police keep a log of all their calls and complaints. The truth is that on two occasions in the past year I asked people to leave the office when they had become verbally abusive to me and the bookkeeper over issues which were beyond our control.”

The winner of the race will likely face current board member Andrea Reynosa who will run on the Rural Heritage Party line. The Democratic candidate has not yet been selected because the caucus has not been held.

Other races

In the neighboring Town of Bethel, there is a race for the Democratic nominee for a seat on the town board. The race pits Lillian Hendrickson against William Gloor.
In the Town of Lumberland, there is a race for the Conservative Party nomination between Martha Tully and David Leamon to fill a vacancy on the town board.
In the Town of Neversink, Claudia Tenney is running against Brain Maher for the Republican nomination for a seat in the NY State Assembly.