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Hudson Mayor Withdraws From November Election

Hudson Mayor Rick Rector will not seek a second term after losing June’s Democratic primary.

In October 2017, 1st ward Alderman Rick Rector, a Democrat, was the sole candidate running for mayor of the Columbia County city after incumbent Tiffany Martin Hamilton decided not to seek another term. Rector ran under the "One Hudson" slogan, promising to make a big difference in local politics, intending to modernize the city.   "Economic development. And economic development includes a lot of things. Housing, infrastructure, working with developers, and bringing back in addition to my business skills, to be involved with the city of Hudson," said Rector.

Two years later, at a debate before the June 25th Democratic primary, Rector said he believed his "One Hudson" program addressed numerous city issues and had brought community members together.

But when more than a thousand Democratic primary voters in the city of about 6,700 made it to the polls, current 1st Ward Alderman Kamal Johnson soundly defeated Rector 678 to 354.  Johnson saud "This was really never about myself and him personally, but it was more about a vision and direction for the city and people felt it was time for a change of guard."

Rector conceded.  "Stepping up to the plate and saying you want to serve your community is quite a big deal and requires a lot of time, energy and effort. And my hat is off to everyone who's done that. I thank my supporters of course, they made my life a lot easier and I give them a lotta credit for doing a lot of lot of hard work and importantly I congratulate Kamal for winning the primary."

Rector nevertheless pressed on toward a fall campaign, since had also been nominated by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties. But that campaign ended Wednesday with Rector posting on Facebook, telling constituents he decided to withdraw from the race because "I desperately want a unified Hudson." He plans to focus on city business until the day Johnson takes office.  Johnson:  "That, you know, has to be one of the hardest decisions he's had to make as the leader of our city right now. And I look forward to, you know, pickin' up the baton."

With no challenger on the ballot, Johnson already has one foot in the door to city hall.   "That's what I'm most excited about. You know campaigning is a 24-hour day seven-days-a-week job. So now I can really focus on the implementation of a lot of the plans that I have for the city.”

The letter Mayor Rick Rector posted on Facebook.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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