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Rural Heritage candidates advance despite Callicoon Republican surprise

By Fritz Mayer
August 24, 2011

Several candidates who are running on the recently announced Rural Heritage (RH) line in Sullivan County have also captured Democratic Party nominations, though not without a bit of a struggle.

In the Town of Callicoon, where the Democratic nominations seemed assured, a last-minute push by what were described as a “few” registered Democrats came as a surprise. At the party caucus in Jeffersonville on August 22, those few Democrats nominated three Republican candidates to also run on the Democratic line.

The Republican candidates are all incumbents: supervisor Tom Bose, council person Howard Fuchs and council person Dave Kuebler. The RH and now also Democratic candidates are Bruce Ferguson for supervisor, Jill Wiener for council person and former supervisor Linda Babicz for council person.

The nomination of the Republicans reportedly set people to using their cell phones to get Democrats to the meeting to participate in the voting, and Ferguson, Weiner and Babicz were ultimately successful in beating back the unexpected challenge.

There were 52 registered Democrats at the caucus, a very large turnout for the party.

Before the caucus, Bose was asked for a comment about the new Rural Heritage line. He responded that he hadn’t given it much thought and he had other matters on his mind.

In the neighboring Town of Delaware, about 100 people turned out to the Democratic Party caucus on August 21. RH candidates for council seats Marc Dubrovsky and John Murphy were nominated and approved.

But Steve Lundgren, running on the RH line for supervisor, was running for the Democratic spot against Ed Sykes, who was the choice put forward by the executive committee; RH councilperson candidate Dick Ried was up against Christina Mace.

There was a tie on the first ballot. A second ballot was taken after a few people had left the meeting, and, after that was counted, it was announced that Lundgren and Ried had won the Democratic nominations.