New legislator elected as minority leader

Yvette Valdes Smith
Valdes Smith

The eight-member Democratic caucus of the Dutchess County Legislature on Monday (Dec. 13) elected Yvette Valdes Smith, whose district includes part of Beacon, as minority leader for 2022-23.

Barrington Atkins, a legislator from Poughkeepsie, was elected assistant leader, succeeding Nick Page, whose district includes the remainder of Beacon.

Valdés Smith is a former schoolteacher who lives in Fishkill. She was elected on Nov. 2 to succeed Frits Zernike, who did not run for a third term; Page ran unopposed to keep his seat. Despite those wins, the Democrats lost two seats on the 25-member panel, which now has 17 Republican members.

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