Election 2020: candidate statements | The River Reporter | #predators | #childpredators | #kids

The candidate statements on these pages represent those who responded to our call to action.

Mike Martucci, NYS Senate District 42

I am Mike Martucci and people know me as the school bus guy. My company safely transported thousands of kids each day and parents entrusted me with the safety of their children. You can trust that I will fight to put our families first.

My opponent puts the rights of criminals ahead of families and is a strong supporter of New York’s dangerous bail elimination law that allows violent criminals who attack women and children to be set free within hours of their arrest. I believe in keeping families safe and that’s why I have the support of Sullivan County Sheriff Mike Schiff and more than 200,000 law enforcement professionals. During my school transportation career, I worked to get a law passed that protects children from sexual predators and drug abusers.

As a small businessman, I know how to create jobs, having grown my school bus company from myself and my grandmother to more than 550 employees. That’s why I’ve been endorsed by business groups—because we need a job creator to help bring back our economy.

New Yorkers pay the highest taxes in the country and it is getting worse. Despite this distress, Sen. Metzger voted for nearly $5 billion in new taxes. Once elected I will eliminate property taxes for everyone over the age of 60 who earns less than $100,000 a year. I will fight for a fair state income tax structure, and I’ll say no to new taxes.

And we are still living with COVID-19. Once elected, I will fight to increase funding to nursing homes and hospitals, create tax credits for their staff and create a pandemic rainy-day fund to ensure hospitals, nursing homes and school districts are properly funded during future pandemics.

As your next state senator, I will always put our families first.

Jen Metzger, NYS Senate District 42

I understand the hardships that so many families face today because I’ve lived them. When I was a child, the rug was pulled out from underneath my family when my father was laid off. We went from living a comfortable, middle-class life, to being poor. It was a difficult time.

But I worked hard in school, took full advantage of a good public education and was then able to go to college—thanks to financial aid. These opportunities changed the course of my life. I believe that everyone should have the same opportunities I had, the chance to live with dignity and the right to succeed and thrive. Government has a vital role to play in making sure that these opportunities are protected.

In 2018, I was elected to the New York State Senate. I campaigned on a message of values like building a caring community, stepping up to support neighbors in need and conserving the natural resources we rely on. I have been working very hard to model those values, and to build bridges across an ever-widening political divide. We can’t take on the challenges our Hudson Valley and Catskills communities face unless we are willing to put people over politics.

We’ve passed an incredible amount of important legislation in my first term, much of which had been stalled in Albany for years. Campaign finance reforms, the Child Victims Act, nation-leading climate action, a permanent property tax cap, bills to strengthen anti-discrimination laws and save lives during the opioid epidemic and much, much more.

There is so much more to do to build a New York that works for all of us. I look forward to continuing this work together.

Meagan Galligan, SC District Attorney

I am Meagan Galligan, Sullivan County’s Acting District Attorney. I am running in the Sullivan District Attorney Race as the Democratic, Independence, Conservative candidate.

I was born in Sullivan County and raised in the proud tradition of public service handed down through generations of my family.

As acting DA, I continue to lead projects I’ve spearheaded over the last decade, including Sullivan County’s Child Advocacy Center and the Victim Advocacy Program. Recently, I announced a new, multi-disciplinary Opioid Epidemic Task Force to attack this crisis from all angles, connecting addicts to treatment and removing dangerous drug distributors from our streets.

My track record and work ethic earned me support and endorsements of leaders across all political affiliations and walks of life. I am the only candidate with the overwhelming support of our labor and law enforcement unions and leaders. They all know that, as district attorney, I will continue, free of politics, to pursue justice and the right of the county’s citizens to exercise their constitutional rights.

I personally prosecute at trial our most serious felonies because you deserve the best prosecutor for this job. In 2016, I was chief honoree at Sullivan County’s Law Enforcement Recognition event. Moreover, my law enforcement partners trust that I will continue to work with them to remedy, in a fair and practical way, recent legislation that eliminated our ability to hold many who pose a risk of flight and threaten public safety accountable by requiring them to post bail.

As a person fully engaged with Sullivan County and the first woman to serve as your chief law enforcement official, I am raising my son, Thomas, to value the ideals of community, equity and evenhanded justice.

It is an honor to serve you. I am respectfully requesting your vote on November 3.

Frank Labuda, SC District Attorney

Just a kid, born without social status, raised in the Bronx by loving parents who never went to college but helped me achieve their American Dream through education, hard work and a sense of duty, I learned early on not to accept the status quo.

I chose our county 38 years ago to build my home and raise my family: four children and seven grandchildren.

War on drugs is not a photo op for acting or smiling politicians. I will make war on murderous drug dealers by mobilizing the people and their communities with “watch groups” to be the eyes and ears of our police and my office. I will never accept the status quo of our county having the highest opioid addiction and death rate in New York.

Prosecution will not be neglected by my office. I cleaned up the backlog of cases in the county court left there by my predecessor judges. I will, within one year, with hard work, clean up the DA’s backlog.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Prosecutions pending two election cycles will never be tolerated by me. I am here to serve you and not curry favoritism.

Our county needs a hands-on DA to move cases promptly through our 35 justice courts for the sake of victims and their families. Our communities, police and local judges deserve better.

You know me: I participated in two tours of active duty in the Gulf War. In the community, I’ve volunteered with the Arson Task Force, the Recovery Center, the Stop DWI Program and the Wurtsboro Fire Company. I have tried every type of felony case: murder, rape burglary, drug trafficking and organized crime.

As your elected judge for the past 23 years, I kept our county court on track and on time as a problem-solving court with new Drug and Veteran’s Courts, 7,000 felony cases, while having 200+ legal decisions published by New York State for Judges, Lawyers and Prosecutors to follow.

The Second Amendment ensures that homeland security begins at home, and that is why I issued 10,000+ pistol permits.

You deserve a prosecutor who is a public servant, willing to serve you without fear or favor—a prosecutor you know and trust!

Aileen Gunther, NYS Senate District 100

It is my privilege to represent the people of Sullivan and Orange counties in the New York State Assembly. Throughout all the uncertainty we face during this time, I continue to take solace in the fact that we live in one of the most beautiful and community-minded places I have ever known. The pandemic has shown that no matter what happens, our neighbors will always be there to lend a helping hand.

My team and I were honored to work with several local agencies to distribute food to people in need all across our area. We were able to get hundreds of people the unemployment benefits they needed and had earned.

While we’re not out of the woods yet, a strong economic recovery is integral to our community’s future. I worked with the governor’s team to ensure that the casino reopened safely and as quickly as possible. Getting the casino back up and running saved more than 1,000 union jobs that our county could not afford to lose.

As we continue this recovery, broadband accessibility has never been more important. I have introduced legislation to ensure that our community has more options than just Spectrum. We have seen time and time again that big corporations cannot be counted upon to expand services in our area. I’ll be making community-owned broadband services a priority of mine during the upcoming legislative session.

This year’s election is like no other. These are challenging times and the most important way to make a difference is by voting.

If you’re voting absentee, October 27 is the last day you can request a ballot online. If you’re voting early, you can do so from October 24 to November 1. If you’re planning on going to the polls on Election Day, November 3, the hours are from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. So no matter who you’re planning on voting for this year, make sure your voice is heard.

Karrie Jara, Town of Rockland Town Justice

I was born and raised in Roscoe to a family with values and, above all else, respect. I take massive pride in my community and have been active for numerous years with the Roscoe Volunteer Ambulance Corp., Kiwanis and Ladies Auxiliary; I have also been a fire commissioner and food pantry coordinator. I have, numerous times, volunteered as part of the safety team to assist the veterans on their Honor Flights to Washington, DC. I am currently working in the medical field as an emergency room registered nurse and a volunteer EMT.

Working at Kirchner Chevrolet and Chrysler Dodge Jeep throughout a major portion of my life, I learned and inherited much-needed people skills. Treating people pleasantly and fairly plus proper communications is always a must for me. The knowledge I have acquired through my business and nursing backgrounds has taught me how important it is to be organized, open-minded and objective in dealing with people every day.

To be effective and fair, I, as judge, must not have a preconceived prosecutor mindset and must weigh the facts of each citizen’s case with an open mind and support the best outcome for all parties. I have the compassion needed as judge; I am impartial, fair, objective and honest. When electing a town justice, political parties should not matter. What matters is we elect the person with the ability and temperament to ensure justice for everyone.

As your judge, I will ensure the rights of all defendants and litigants to fair and equal treatment under the law. I will be honest, fair, open-minded and impartial notwithstanding an individual’s circumstances or state of affairs. I’m dedicated and devoted to the community.

Matt Cartwright, U.S. House PA District 8

It’s been the honor of my life to serve Northeastern Pennsylvanians in Congress, and there’s no doubt this is one of the most consequential elections of our lifetime. It transcends party politics and is about reaching across the aisle to move Northeastern Pennsylvania—move the United States of America—forward.

I’ve built strong relationships with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, which has been key to my ability to get things done for our district. In fact, I’ve been rated one of the most effective members of Congress by the Center of Effective Lawmaking, and I have introduced more bills with Republican support than any other Democrat in the House since being elected.

My commitment to bipartisan cooperation will continue so that we can turn the page on this public health and economic crisis and lead our district to an economic boom. I know so many people and businesses are hurting right now, but I am encouraged that local businesses in the district have received over $5.5 billion in relief to help them stay afloat.

But I know that’s not enough. I am working to pass additional relief that meets our public health and economic needs, including for our farmers, while bringing manufacturing back to America to create more jobs and ensure that critical supplies like PPE and medicines are made right here in America.

I’m committed to driving an economic recovery that everyone can share in. We need major infrastructure investments across the board to improve our roads, schools, and rural broadband to help keep our district moving and connected.

You have my word that I will always fight to secure our fair share of funds to build up our region, and work with members of both parties to advance solutions that help move Northeastern Pennsylvania forward.

Susan Brown Otto, Bethel Tax Collector

I am Susan Brown Otto and I am running for the position of Town of Bethel Tax Collector. Administering to money, personal, municipal, or institutional is not to be taken lightly. It requires expertise and education, attention to detail and the ability to understand numbers. I am the best-qualified candidate for the position because, in addition to being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), I have worked with confidential financial information for more than 40 years, have a wide breadth of professional experience and possess excellent computer skills. I can and will produce calculations, forms and documents that are accurate, timely and meet all professional protocols all of the time.

I was raised in Bethel on the Brown family dairy farm near Kenoza Lake. I am the fifth generation of the Brown family to seek public office. After graduating from the University of Scranton in 1979 with a B.S. in Accounting, I began work with the international accounting firm Price WaterhouseCoopers. I became a CPA in 1982 and, after 24 years of working with the firm, founded my own income tax practice in 2000. In 2003, I returned home to make a life here, and I now reside with my husband, Ray, only a short distance from the family farm on Pucky Huddle Road.

I have been the Treasurer of the White Lake Fire District for the past two years and have demonstrated my commitment to the Town of Bethel through my volunteer work as a 15-year member of the Bethel Planning Board and as an ongoing active participant in the Sullivan County Renaissance community beautification program. Additionally, I am an organist at the Kenoza Lake United Methodist Church and write a neighborhood news column for a local newspaper.

I ask for your vote on November 3rd.

Marian Keegan, PA House District 139

I am a forester and a scientist who is very concerned about the health of our environment and our government. My name is Marian Keegan and I am on the ballot to represent people in the 139th House District.

Pike and Wayne counties are blessed with an abundance of natural ecosystems. We love our forested landscapes, rivers and farms. Our small businesses, livelihoods and recreation depend on our rural areas and small towns. My primary legislative priority will be to support the permanent ban on fracking in the Delaware River Basin to keep our landscapes intact and air and water clean.

Many struggle to survive, and many question the future. COVID-19 and an economic recession have magnified the critical lack of resources in rural areas such as internet access, good roads, social services, the cost of prescription drugs, ambulance service and post-secondary education. Challenges to basic rights of everyday people have caused fear and anxiety.

It’s time to examine what we need and close the gaps. We must know our common ground and find solutions to build back what we’ve lost and what we deserve.

I will put people’s needs first. My years of experience as a practicing professional forester and discipline as a scientist have honed how I listen, gather input, base decisions on factual evidence and work with leaders to find effective solutions.

The way we are governed by the controlling party isn’t working for us. Our voices aren’t heard and our needs are not met. Our basic rights to affordable health care, a livable wage, clean air and water, voting, making life decisions for ourselves and loved ones, education and infrastructure are vital to our recovery. I will work to address the lack of fairness to rural areas to build better systems for all of us.

Antonio Delgado, NY House District 19

Representative Antonio Delgado is a first-term member of Congress for NY-19, which spans 11 counties across upstate NY. Rep. Delgado spends every day in Congress focused on creating a vibrant local economy, working with local, state and federal partners—regardless of party—to get results for the people here. From improving access to quality, affordable health care, to expanding rural broadband, to protecting our agricultural interests, Rep. Delgado is dedicated to working across the aisle and standing up for what residents need.

Throughout his time in Congress, Rep. Delgado has demonstrated a commitment to representing this district with transparency and accessibility. In his first term, the Congressman held 47 town halls, including 35 in-person and 12 virtual events during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also set up four bipartisan, locally based advisory committees and opened five district offices so that everyone can have their questions answered, issues addressed and voices heard.

In Congress, Rep. Delgado sits on the Agriculture, Transportation & Infrastructure, and Small Business Committees where he has introduced more than 40 bills, more than half of which are bipartisan, and 18 have passed the House. Congressman Delgado also had three pieces of legislation signed into law by the President, including his bipartisan Family Farmer Relief Act to ease the process of reorganizing debt through Chapter 12 bankruptcy, and his Small Business Repayment Relief Act, which created a program at the SBA to provide six months of automatic loan relief for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently, Rep. Delgado received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement and inaugural Jefferson-Hamilton Award for Bipartisanship, as well as the prestigious Friend of Farm Bureau Award. The Congressman grew up in Schenectady and now lives in Rhinebeck with his wife, Lacey Schwartz Delgado, and their twin sons, Maxwell and Coltrane.




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