Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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March 12th, 2016

Election Season Heats Up

Sullivan County residents can expect 2016 to be an exciting and heated election season with several interesting and well fought races anticipated.

On Tuesday – The 2016 election season will officially begin with many Village Elections – More on that below.

Next month registered Democrats and Republicans in Sullivan County will get to have their say in whom they want to be their party’s nominee for President.

In June – Democrats and Republicans will also have their say in whom they want to be their congressional candidates for the seat being vacated by Congressman Chris Gibson.

Two big name contenders who political observers consider the front runners are Democrat Zephyr Teachout and Republican John Fasco in their respected primaries.

Come November – We might have several more highly profiled contested races including County Court Judge, New York State Senate, and New York State Assembly.

County Court Judge Race

County Court Judge Frank LaBuda is expected to make a big splash in his reelection announcement come April 1st. Because of age requirements, if reelected, Labuda will only be able to serve four years out of the ten-year term.

There has been wide speculation that District Attorney James Farrell is weighing his options and strongly considering making a bid for County Court Judge come November.

LaBuda and Farrell are serving our County well and honorably, and many in political circles agree that they would like to see both men remain in their positions and see them run unopposed for their respected positions until LaBuda finishes out his new term. The field would then be wide open.

Although nothing is ever set in stone – there needs to be an understanding and sort of agreement amongst political leaders – but that could be remote because it has been floated that the Chair of the Sullivan County Democratic Party has already recruited a Republican attorney who has or is about to change political parties to run against Farrell for District Attorney in 2017.

So in essence, Farrell would have nothing to lose if he makes a run for County Court Judge.

State Senate and Assembly

Our State representative seats might be hotly contested in November as well. Democratic Town of Mamakating Supervisor Bill Hermann has announced his intentions to run against Republican State Senator John Bonacic.

It is anticipated that because of opposition to Bonacic – Republicans will recruit someone to run against Democratic Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther. I have been told a big named Republican is considering a run.

Village Elections

For now – all eyes should be on the Tuesday Village elections – And some of them are very hotly contested.

It is important that all registered voters in these municipalities vote in these elections.

Village of Monticello

Village of Monticello politics has always been plagued with excitement, especially since it is the County’s seat.

The rein of Gordon Jenkins and all the antics seem like it was decades ago.

The Village Board has been making a lot of progress in turning things around and David Sager by all accounts has been doing an outstanding job as Monticello’s Manager.

Mayor Doug Solomon who is seeking election has brought calm and stability back to the Village of Monticello.

Solomon is so respected by all political parties – He is running unopposed and endorsed by the Democratic, Republican, Conservative, and Independence Parties.

Aleta Gomez who is running to fill Solomon’s Trustee term is also running unopposed.

The hotly contested races in Monticello is for the four-year trustee positions currently held by trustees Carmen Rue and Larissa Bennett.

Looking to unseat Rue and Bennett is Charlie Sabatino and George Nikolados.

The top two vote getters will win the four year terms.

Rue, a former Republican, is running with Bennett on the Democratic and Conservative lines. Rue is also endorsed by the Independence Party.

Both Nikolados and Sabatino are running on the Republican Line. Nikolados, who is not registered to a political party, also has the endorsement of the Working Families Party. This is the Working Families Party’s first entrée into Village elections.

The race involving two of the candidates – Carmen Rue and George Nikolados has made this election very nasty.

Rue who is an experienced and avid campaigner for some reason has gone on the attack against Nikolados – while supporters of Nikolados have gone on the attack against Rue.

Both Rue, Bennett, and Sabatino are well known throughout Monticello and are well established.

Bennett is very popular within the Black community, Rue is popular in the Latin and Senior Citizen community, while Sabatino is respected within Monticello’s traditional voting-block.

Nikolados represents our new generation with his entrance into politics. He is delivering a different and innovative message to revitalize Monticello. His family owns the renowned Miss Monticello Diner and he desperately wants to see businesses succeed 12 months out of the year and not just during the summer season.

Whether Nikolados wins or loses – He is a much needed voice in the Sullivan County political landscape.
Because of the overwhelmingly Democratic edge in the Village, Rue and Bennett are considered the favorites.

As in any election, voter turnout and the candidates who get the most people to vote will determine the results. No matter who is elected all four of the candidates will most certainly serve Monticello well.

Village of Liberty

In the Village of Liberty two popular and respected incumbents are seeking re-election – Robert Mir and Joan Stoddard. Also seeking election to one of the two seats up for grabs is newcomer on the political horizon – Dan Wright.

Mir, the former Police Chief of Liberty and the current police chief in Monticello, currently serves as Liberty’s Deputy Mayor and is endorsed by the Democratic, Republican, Conservative, and Independence Parties.

Stoddard, considered by many as one of the hardest working members on the Village Board, understands and knows Liberty government inside out. She is running on the Democratic and Liberty 2016 lines.

Wright is a retired former New York City Police Officer and is endorsed by the Republican, Conservative, and Independence parties.

Mayor Ron Stabak who has been working hard to revitalize Liberty and stabilize its taxes while delivering the public safety and municipal services residents expect and need has been campaigning hard for Mir and Stoddard.

Voting will take place at the Village from Noon to 9 PM on Tuesday.

Village of Bloomingburg

The controversy in the Village of Bloomingburg never ends and this election has the eyes of everyone.

As we all know by now, Bloomingburg is the center of the controversy, allegations, investigations, and lawsuits involving voter fraud and a belief that there is an attempt to change the scope of Bloomingburg into a secular religious community. Bloomingburg is also the place were members of the Hasidic Community sued the Sullivan County Board of Elections forcing a Federal monitor and the resignation of Board of Elections Commissioner Ann Prusinski.

Incumbent Mayor Frank Gerardi Jr. is running for re-election on the powerful Rural Heritage line. Russell Wood Jr. is trying to unseat Gerardi running on his own Wood line.

Incumbent Trustee James Johnson who is also running on Rural Heritage line is facing a challenge from Rikvah Mosessen of the Unity Party.

It will be interesting to see the influence of the Orthodox voting block in this election. Mosessen is Orthodox and Wood has been courting the Hasidic voting block.

Voting will take place at the Village Hall at 13 North Road in Bloomingburg from Noon to 9 PM on Tuesday.

Village of Wurtsboro

Trustee Lyman Holmes is running unopposed on the Wurtsboro First line.

Village of Jeffersonville

All elections in Jeffersonville are uncontested. There are two Trustee positions. Greg Brewer and William Chellis are running unopposed. Trustee Randall Harris is not seeking reelection.

Please Vote

For further information – call the Sullivan County Board of Elections at (845) 807-0400.

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself on National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in THE SULLIVAN COUNTY POST.

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