© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

NYS Primary Day Includes Assembly Races In The HV


Primary day in New York is putting the spotlight on a few races in the Hudson Valley, namely in the state Assembly.

There are Democratic and Republican primary races in the 98th Assembly District, where freshman Republican incumbent Karl Brabenec faces John Allegro. The matchup has pitted supporters of the Republican contenders in spats on social media and elsewhere. Plus, a group in which Allegro is active has filed suit against Brabenec and the state Board of Elections alleging theft of the organization’s name by Brabenec. United Monroe is the group and Emily Convers its chairwoman.

“And we’re not just a group of people that decided on this name at the last minute. We’re already recognized by the Board of Elections. We’ve already filed campaign finance reports for the last several years. We have a tax ID number. We have a back account,” Convers says. “So for him to have just absconded the name United Monroe, it’s really ridiculous that he thought he could just do that and get away with it and that people would still want to vote for him.”

United Monroe was created in 2013 by a group of citizens in response to what it felt were unfair decisions by the Monroe Town Board. United Monroe also has been a staunch opponent of a proposed 507-acre annexation by the Village of Kiryas Joel. Allegro anticipates being on the ballot in November no matter the outcome of Primary day.

“We’re on the ballot. We will be on the ballot on November 8 on an Independence line,” says Allegro. “The name of line, we believe, will be United Monroe. We have an election court date on Friday, the 16th.”

This civil action is separate from the suit filed by United Monroe. Allegro says he’s running because he feels the district’s constituents have not been heard in Albany.

“The group that I’m a part of, United Monroe, has done a great job of influencing elected officials for the positive. We’ve been able to get good, honest civic-minded elected to local positions,” says Allegro. “And when it comes to Albany, we’ve just hit a brick wall.”

Brabenec did not respond to requests for comment in time for this broadcast. He did, however, post a lengthy comment on his campaign Facebook page Tuesday morning addressing what he called “unfounded and ridiculous allegations.” Brabenec writes, “Concerning my United Monroe petitions, I must stress that there was neither fraud nor deception when these petitions were circulated. All of the volunteers who circulated my petitions emphasized that my petitions were for an additional independent ballot line and all of my petitions had my name, the office I am running for, and my home address on them, in bold.”

The 98th district includes parts of Orange and Rockland counties. In Orange, it includes Port Jervis, Deerpark, Greenville, Minisink, Warwick, Monroe, Tuxedo and, in Rockland, portions of Ramapo. On the Democratic side, Rockland County legislator and Spring Valley resident Aron Wieder faces off against Monroe resident Krystal Serrano. Wieder tried for the seat in 2014 and 2012, losing both times in primaries. And Serrano tried in 2014. She says she’s been travelling the district and reaching out to the community discussing a number of issues.

“We’re talking about taxation. We’re talking about our environment. We’re talking about our agriculture. We’re talking about quality education,” Serrano says. “We’re talking about helping our small businesses in the community. They’re the driving engine that you hear. How do we support and have them continually sustain their growth and presence in the community.”

She says the district’s residents are talking about needing access to quality jobs and improving education, including restoring programs that have been cut. Serrano is a former NYPD auxiliary officer and managed care employee. Wieder did not respond to a request for comment.

And there is a contest in a neighboring district. Rockland Democratic Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee faces Airmont Planning board member Thomas Gulla in the 97th  District. Jaffee has served in the Assembly since 2008. Jaffee’s work has included sponsoring legislation concerning the East Ramapo School District.

You have to been enrolled in a party to vote in the primaries. New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office is operating a hotline for anyone who experiences problems at the polls. You can call 800-771-7755 or email civil.rights.@ag.ny.gov.  

Related Content