Guilderland Dems should move to a primary system

To the  Editor:

If you have ever attended a caucus, then it came as no surprise to you Monday night that the Iowa Democratic Caucus was a total and unmitigated disaster. All that time, energy, and money put into it by the candidates, not to mention the people who supported and voted for them, and even the next day we are still waiting for the results.

Already the internet is buzzing with conspiracy theories. I watched several candidates declare victory Monday night. Mayor Peter Buttigieg is right: Iowa did shock the world, but not in a good way. How can we ever know if the results are valid when there is so much confusion and opportunity for mischief?

My brother commented to me that it looks like the people running the caucus want to pick the winner.  Well, I do hate it when my brother, the Trump supporter, wins any argument, especially about politics.

I am hoping my friends on the Guilderland Democratic Committee who were still undecided about holding a caucus in Guilderland woke up Tuesday morning with a change of attitude. If what happened in Iowa Monday night is not enough to change your mind, then what will? 

We need to ensure we have fair elections at every level, elections that reflect our values as Democrats, that everyone gets the chance to vote and every vote is counted. And we need to ensure that the system is impenetrable to voter fraud so that the results cannot be easily challenged, which as demonstrated Monday night in Iowa, cannot be done with a caucus. I do not think this is too much to ask of the Democratic party in the year 2020.

If you are lucky enough to know your Democratic committee person or any elected Democratic office holder, the next time you see them, ask them why we have to have a caucus in Guilderland and where they stand on the issue. I will be doing the same.

There is currently an opening on the Guilderland Democratic Committee in my neighborhood, Election District #13. I will be petitioning for the opportunity to serve my neighbors as their voice on the Guilderland Democratic Committee.

Part of the reason I want to join the committee is to make my party better by advocating to do away with caucus system. Another reason is I want to win that argument with my brother about Democrats and elections.

If you are a Democrat in my neighborhood, I will be knocking on your door and happy to talk to you about the caucus. (Actually, I would be happy to talk to everyone about it.)

Christine Napierski


Editor’s note: In 2018, two months after Christine Napierski was appointed town justice, the Guilderland Democratic Committee announced it was backing instead then-county legislator, and long-time committee member Bryan Clenahan. Napierski and her father and law partner, Eugene Napierski, brought a lawsuit in July 2018, a week before the scheduled caucus, in an effort to stop it, arguing that the caucus system severely limited participation by anyone other than committee members and their families. Their suit failed and Clenahan won the caucus narrowly but went on to win the general election decisively over both Napierski and Republican candidate Stephen Chesley.

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