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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, July 30, 2009

GOP coy about candidates, Dems march on

By Zach Simeone

WESTERLO — With fall elections still months away, the town’s Democrats have scheduled their caucus for Aug. 26. The Republican Committee has not yet set a date, but will likely wait until the fall to nominate its candidates.

The town board, which has been dominated by Democrats for decades, has one Republican, elected last year with the backing of a revitalized Democratic Party. Democrats outnumber Republicans by 3 to 1 in Westerlo.

Westerlo’s long-time Democratic supervisor, Richard Rapp, told The Enterprise this week that incumbent Democratic councilmen R. Gregory Zeh and Edward Rash, whose four-year terms are up this year, will be nominated at next month’s caucus, along with the recently appointed Judge Andrew Brick, who formerly chaired the town’s planning board.

Justice Alan Bauder will be retiring at the end of his term, which is up this year, Rapp said.

“We need a replacement for him,” Rapp said of Bauder. “We have not found the other one to run yet.”

Bonnie Kohl-Laub, who currently heads the Republican committee in Westerlo, said that, while the party has candidates in mind, she wishes not to reveal their identities until the caucus draws closer.

“We have some marvelous people that are getting involved and will be running, people the townsfolk will trust, and who agree with our philosophy of transparency of government, and understand the problems that will come about in the next few years because of the changes in society,” Kohl-Laub said. “What I like about the people that are going to be running with us is they’re people who listen to the difficulties of a situation — all sides — and they’re people who look towards long-term, workable solutions.”

The party wants to put people in office who “really know the town,” she added later — “We want people whose bones are here.”

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