Will face Scott Manley to fill Skartados seat
By Chip Rowe
Jonathan Jacobson, a member of the Newburgh City Council, on Sept. 13 won the Democratic primary for the state Assembly seat representing the 104th District, which includes Beacon and Newburgh.
Jacobson will face Republican and Conservative Party candidate Scott Manley, a retired police officer and current member of the Newburgh Town Council, in the general election in November. The winner will succeed Frank Skartados, who held the seat from 2012 until his death in April from pancreatic cancer.
In a five-person field, Jacobson received 26 percent of the vote, followed by Kevindaryán Luján, a member of the Orange County Legislature, with 21 percent and Jodi McCredo, a member of the Beacon City Council, with 20 percent.
The other candidates were Ralph Coates, a former Poughkeepsie city council and school board member, who received 15 percent, and Alex Kelly, Skartados’ director of policy development, who received 12 percent. About 5 percent of ballots were left blank.
Jacobson congratulated his “competitors — not opponents” for their “spirited campaigns,” noting, “This was not a divisive campaign. Everyone talked about themselves and the issues, and now we will all come together because we want a Democrat to represent the district in the state Assembly.”
More than 8,400 votes were cast, a turnout of about 28 percent in the district, which includes Beacon and parts of Orange and Ulster counties. In Beacon, McCredo won 25 percent, followed by Jacobson with 21, Coates with 20, Kelly with 15 and Luján with 11.
Jacobson edged out Luján among Orange County voters, 35 to 34, while he won 19 percent of Ulster County voters behind McCredo’s 28 percent and Luján’s 25.
Jacobson, whose law firm focuses on workers’ comp and Social Security disability cases, served as an assistant counsel to the speaker of the state Assembly on its Labor Committee. He was also an assistant state attorney general in charge of the Consumer Frauds Bureau in Poughkeepsie and a Workers’ Compensation judge. He chaired the Orange County Democratic Committee for 22 years, although it endorsed Luján.
When asked by The Current to name the top issues facing the district, Jacobson listed (1) “ending the reliance on school property taxes to fund public schools,” (2) “legislation to protect us from the excesses of the Trump administration and the Trump Supreme Court, from reproductive rights to health insurance to environmental laws,” and (3) “expanding free college tuition at state colleges to part-time students and vocational training.”
He also wrote: “I also favor developing a single-payer health plan, rebuilding our infrastructure and ending the culture of corruption in Albany. It is not enough to be on the right side of the issues — you need the experience, energy and ideas to be an effective Assembly member.”
In other votes
Dutchess County voters registered with the Women’s Equality and Reform parties also selected candidates for the November election for surrogate and family court judges.
Karen Hagstrom won 13 of 15 ballots for the Women’s Equality line for Family Court judge, while Michael Hayes won 8 of 14 ballots for the line for Surrogate Court judge.
For the Reform Party line, Hagstrom also won 68 percent and Hayes 63 percent of the 1,073 votes cast.
On the November ballot, Thomas Mansfield, an attorney in Red Hook, will have the Democratic and Working Families lines for Surrogate Court and Hayes, the town judge of LaGrange, the Republican, Conservative, Green, Independence, Women’s Equality and Reform lines.
For Family Court, Hagstrom, a county district attorney, will have the Republican, Conservative, Green, Independence, Women’s Equality and Reform lines and Jeffrey Martin, a lawyer and town justice from Red Hook, will have the Democratic and Working Families lines.