Letters: Primary Endorsements

What is a primary?

Last month, the League of Women Voters of Putnam County held a candidate forum for the Democratic primary candidates for the state Senate race for District 40 [which includes eastern Putnam]. We were asked by some folks why we didn’t invite any Republican candidates. To be clear: If there are not two candidates in the same party running for a particular office, you cannot have a primary.

Primaries come in two basic forms: open and closed. In an open primary, all registered voters can vote for any candidate. Registered independents can participate in either party’s primary. In a closed primary, as we have in New York state, voters may vote only for candidates of the party with which they are registered. In order for the state to change to an open primary, the Legislature would need to amend the state constitution.

The date for the New York primary election is Thursday, Sept. 13. For information on the candidates, visit the New York State League Election Voter Guide at lwvny.civicengine.com or votingnewyork.org and enter your ZIP code.

Phyllis Hoenig, Mahopac
Hoenig is vice president of the League of Women Voters of Putnam County.

McCredo for Assembly

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.”

Democracy is based on the proposition that the best way to safeguard our constitutional rights and civil liberties, and build safe and productive communities, is to solicit and carefully weigh disparate voices across all levels of society. Inclusivity provides the checks and balances needed to ensure that no sector of society experiences disenfranchisement by design or unintended circumstance. Inclusivity is good citizenship; it cultivates the sense of belonging, well-being and worth needed to thrive in all our communities.

This is why I plan to vote for Jodi McCredo for the New York State Assembly in the Democratic primary on Sept. 13. She is an empathetic and socially competent member of the Beacon City Council. Years of advocacy help her comfortably engage with people from all walks of life. She is not content to rest on yesterday’s laurels but regularly seeks input from across the cultural spectrum to ensure that her representation is authentic and relevant.

McCredo clearly remembers that her decisions deeply impact our community and she strives to promote an inclusive society where every perspective bears weight. In my opinion, as a member of the state Assembly, Jodi McCredo will bring my voice to Albany and make it count.

Lorraine Hexstall, Beacon

It’s rare to find someone as compassionate as Jodi McCredo, but she’s the real deal.

I have had the pleasure of working with Jodi on the Beacon Human Relations Commission for the past couple of years. Her compassion for the community and others has been a great asset to the Commission and is exactly what makes her a great candidate for Assembly District 104. With Jodi it’s never about her, it’s always about the community! She has the perfect go-getter attitude when it’s comes to  solving community issues and concerns and has no problem standing up for what right.

I believe Jodi McCredo is the best candidate for our thriving community. Please come out to vote for Jodi on Sept. 13.

Yvonne McNair, Beacon

I am proud to support my friend and colleague Jodi McCredo for Assembly District 104.

I serve on the Beacon City Council with Jodi, and know Jodi to be a thoughtful and analytical councilperson. She speaks her mind and stands up for her constituents, always striving to do what’s best for them, and she will do this for all of us in Albany.

In addition to Jodi’s legislative experience on the city council, her personal experiences also make her uniquely qualified to lead for us in the Assembly. She is a working mother and a small business owner, recently named one of the 40 under 40 Rising Stars by the Business Council of Westchester. She knows the struggles of starting and maintaining a business, balancing work and life and doing what’s best for her employees even if it means personal sacrifice.

Jodi is also a tireless advocate for education, and she will work to make sure our schools get the funding from the state they are owed. I know Jodi will champion women and families, and work to ensure reproductive health access is strengthened in New York.

I have found Jodi to be someone who listens, thinks and acts. She has a passion for public service and serving her community. Please join me in voting for Jodi on Sept. 13.

Amber Grant, Beacon

Luján for Assembly

Orange County Legislator Kevindaryán Luján is running for state Assembly to serve the three cities and three towns that makeup Assembly District 104. The cities of Poughkeepsie, Beacon and Newburgh and the towns of Newburgh, Marlborough and Lloyd are all gems on the Hudson with historic energy flowing through our neighborhoods, mountains, and valley.

Luján knows our district through and through. He contributes to and values our diverse demographics. He’s spent the necessary time listening to his neighbors, and understands the oath he swore to serve all of his constituency. With the unfortunate passing of Assemblyman Frank Skartados, I support Kevindaryán Luján and will vote for him to become our next assembly member.

Here are the reasons why I believe casting your vote for Kevin will serve us all well:

Mental Health and Public Safety Focus: Luján worked with mental health agencies and professionals and local and county government agencies and officials to develop and implement Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for Dutchess County law enforcement. He has the know-how to set district goals and achieve required results, regarding training and educating local law enforcement and our general public on mental wellness and public safety.

Economic Development, Job Creation, Arts and Tourism: In his younger years, Kevin traveled the world, and studied and traveled abroad. Before exploring, he experienced growing up in the cities of Newburgh and Beacon. He firmly understands that the mentality, “It’s how it’s always been,” isn’t good enough. With growing concerns over development, gentrification, and our tax base, Luján is experienced and prepared to design a comprehensive economic development plan that is inclusive and dynamic. From the Women’s Prison Camp Project in Beacon to the advances at Stewart International Airport in Orange County to the old infrastructure we’re building upon throughout our district, Kevin will work to push us all forward.

If you’re a registered Democrat living in District 104, we have an important primary election on Thursday, Sept. 13. Orange County Legislator Kevindaryán Luján is the most prepared candidate running for the seat to efficiently and effectively serve us.

Ali T. Muhammad, Beacon

Fleming for Conservative line

I have lived in Putnam County for 28 years. I’m a lifelong member of the Conservative Party. I’m writing in Maureen Fleming for Putnam County Executive in our primary election on Sept. 13, and I want to encourage my fellow Conservative Party member to do the same thing. Here’s why.

Over the years, I’ve watched as Putnam Republicans have overrun our party, pushing their candidates on us as if we were nothing but a branch of their party. We’re not. I’m tired of them working behind the scenes with our party leadership, then telling us who we should back. We should be able to choose the candidates that we think represent us.

Since MaryEllen Odell took office in 2011, she has twisted our party values, our goals and our choices into ones that best suit her needs and her party’s needs. She talks big on issues she can’t influence as County Executive, like abortion and gun rights, to distract us from her rampant spending.

We know that one of the major Conservative platform planks is fiscal conservatism. MaryEllen Odell knows nothing about being a fiscal conservative. She borrows and spends with impunity, and wastes our tax dollars. Her record, time and time again, proves that.

MaryEllen Odell has continued to prioritize her needs over the taxpayers’ needs. She’s appointed her friends, supporters and their relatives to county jobs. She’s given herself and her staff raise after raise. She has grossly overspent and borrowed to support her spending habit. Putnam County residents are footing the bill. We can’t afford four more years of MaryEllen Odell.

On Sept. 13, our party can choose our own candidate for ourselves. I’m choosing Maureen Fleming because I live in Kent and she has never raised my town taxes. Maureen has integrity, good intentions, and a record of slashing unnecessary spending.

It is time to drain the local swamp! Please join me in writing in Maureen Fleming on primary day.

Paul Roncallo, Kent

Attorney general race

On Thursday, Sept. 13, there are Democrat and Reform Party primary elections for state Attorney General. When voting Thursday and in November, please remember what the responsibilities of this office are and what they are not.

For 16½ years I worked for the New York State Attorney General Office, for Robert Abrams (D), G. Oliver Koppell (D), Dennis Vacco (R), and Eliot Spitzer (D). Back then, the AG’s office fulfilled its obligations to the people of the State of New York. In addition to defending state agencies that are sued, we fought for New Yorkers against elder fraud, consumer fraud and price gouging, enforced the Lemon Law, antitrust laws and protected consumers from bad businesses, including nursing homes and charities and assisted in landlord/tenant disputes. These are just some of the responsibilities of the Attorney General.

When I worked there, the Attorney General made sure that the prices of snow shovels and snow blowers didn’t go up during a snow storm, or that the prices of air conditioners didn’t go up in heat waves, that the price of generators or hotels didn’t rise during power outages and we would even subpoena the rack prices of gasoline from Memorial Day to Labor Day to make sure the gas stations weren’t price gouging in the summer, and the rack prices of oil from Labor Day to Memorial Day to make sure the oil companies weren’t gouging in the winter time.

It is NOT the job of the Attorney General to attack and undermine the president of the U.S., or any other duly elected official, and it is NOT the job of the Attorney General to send attorneys paid by state taxpayers to the sites of day laborers to provide free legal advice, nor is it their job to distribute guidelines for communities to create Sanctuary Cities that violate federal and state law and refuse to cooperate with other law enforcement officials.

Never once in the 16½ years that I worked there did any of the above-named AGs involve themselves in national politics or defy federal law. Instead, together we partnered with national organizations and the Office of the President to protect consumers. I was appalled when I called the office of Eric Schneiderman (D) and the telephone recording started with “Press 1 if you would like to file a complaint against President-elect [later President] Donald Trump.” That is a blatant misuse of the office and taxpayers pay for that office and the salaries of everyone who works there.

I watched the Democrat debate and all four candidates were very clear that they intend to continue the work of disgraced Schneiderman, attacking and attempting to impeach the president. This November we must take back and restore integrity to the office of Attorney General and make sure they fight for us as law-abiding, taxpaying, legal citizens of New York State, instead of wasting our money and abusing their powers.

Cindy Trimble, Cold Spring

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