AND THEN THERE WERE NONE – Confirmation that town of Ulster Supervisor Jim Quigley will not be a candidate for the Republican nomination for county executive does not come as a surprise. Quigley, who might have been his party’s most competitive contender, found the waters cool and shallow, the prospect of a long and punishing campaign unappealing.
“I asked some of my liberal Democratic friends if they would publicly support me,” Quigley said. “They told me they couldn’t, they couldn’t take the heat. This, then, seems to be the state of our politics these days.”
“I’ve got a nice life. Why would I want to (bleep) it up?” a clearly disgruntled Quigley said.
Quigley advised Republican, Conservative and Independence leaders over the weekend that he would not be a candidate. And that leaves….? Democrats will decide between Patrice Courtney Strong of Kingston, Pat Ryan of Gardiner and Marc Rider of Esopus at convention on Feb. 20.
Meanwhile, Republican county judge Don Williams is telling friends and colleagues – but not media; judges don’t talk politics with reporters – he probably won’t be seeking a second term in November, clearing the way for presumed Democratic nominee Bryan Rounds.
And just to wrap this one-hand-clapping scenario, no Republican candidate has yet come forth for the office of district attorney. Among all GOP once and never hopefuls incumbent GOP district attorney Holley Carnright seemed to have the best chance of surviving this Democratic tsunami. But he hasn’t said boo, yet.
It’s interesting how the political pendulum swings. Only a decade ago, Republicans were lined up to run for high county office. Now, the field is clear for Democrats.
It bears repeating that elections are about more than who wins or loses and by how much. It’s about an exchange of ideas and philosophy, even among judges, about giving the electorate choices. That, it would appear, we will not be the case, at least until the pendulum moves toward equilibrium.