Assembly seat, Putnam clerk, Dutchess sheriff
State Assembly 95
Vanessa Agudelo, a former member of the Peekskill City Council, on Feb. 2 announced plans to run for the state Assembly seat held for nearly 30 years by Sandy Galef, a Democrat who is not seeking re-election.
The daughter of Colombian immigrants, Agudelo is a community activist and a lifelong Peekskill resident. She earned degrees in international politics and archeology from Penn State University and was elected to the City Council in 2017 at age 25 but did not win re-election in 2021. For the past four years, she has been the Hudson Valley member-engagement manager for the New York Immigration Coalition.
The Democratic primary for the seat is scheduled for June 28. Agudelo joins a field that includes former Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey; Dana Levenberg, the Ossining town supervisor who formerly served as Galef’s chief of staff; and Colin Smith, a member of the Westchester County Legislature whose district includes Peekskill.
On Tuesday (Feb. 8), Michael Bartolotti, the county clerk, announced he would seek a third, 4-year term. A Republican, he won office with 63 percent of the vote in 2014 and ran unopposed in 2018.
Kirk Imperati, acting sheriff of Dutchess County, on Feb. 3 announced his candidacy for the Republican and Conservative lines on the November ballot for the sheriff’s position.
A 29-year veteran of the department, including 14 years as undersheriff, Imperati took over in September following the death of Sheriff Butch Anderson, who was in his sixth, 4-year term.
Imperati began his career with Dutchess County as a road patrol officer in 1993. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Marist College and is pursuing a master’s degree in public administration.
Under state law, the Democratic governor, Gov. Kathy Hochul, can name Anderson’s successor, who must be approved by the state Senate. Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, a Republican, in October asked her to appoint Imperati, but said this week he more recently asked the governor to take no action because the party selection process has begun and he feels voters should decide in November.
On Monday (Feb. 7), Hochul said at a news conference in Kingston that a vetting process is underway to recommend a new sheriff. Imperati said he was interviewed in November.