On March 21, 2017, the first electoral test of this year’s local activism produced victories for Democratic-endorsed candidates in the competitive elections in Rhinebeck Village and Red Hook Village. (Take note, Rep. Faso!)
In the hard-fought Rhinebeck Village election, a Democratic Mayor, Gary Bassett, was elected, ousting the Trump-supporting incumbent Mayor. Though incumbent Trustee Democratic Gina Fox narrowly lost her seat, Democrat Ric Lewit won his race this time. (This was his second bite at the apple: he lost by a handful of votes last time.) Turnout was up dramatically — 860 votes were cast in this election, as opposed to only 130 people in the 2015 election and only about 100 in 2013.
In the Red Hook Village election, where only 19 people voted in the last election, Democratic-endorsed candidates incumbent Trustee Jen Norris and new Trustee Charlie Laing were elected with 104 and 78 votes respectively. Even though the election took place during Bard College’s spring break, turnout was way up!
Grassroots activism DOES make a difference! Hudson Valley Strong is working closely with both the Columbia County Democratic Committee and the Dutchess County Democratic Committee — stay tuned for opportunities to do focused, democrat-supporting grassroots work so we can be ready to elect Democratic-endorsed candidates in the November 2017 elections.