Von Ryan’s Express & Last Call For Hector?

Von Ryan’s Express

And then there were two, maybe two and a half.

Long-shot hopeful Marc Rider dropped out of the race for county executive on Monday, a day after announcing a DWI bust some 13 years ago. For the would-be executive, this was the classic example of preemptive politics. If you have anything in your closet – up to and including an old pair of Keds –better get it out before your opponents pounce.

Whether there was a connection between Rider’s misstep all those years ago and his stepping out is now trivial. What matters is who’s left.

Pat Ryan of Gardiner seems to have the whip hand, what with endorsements from Democratic committees in Shawangunk and Plattekill.  And yes, Virginia, there are Democrats in those two towns and Ryan found ‘em. That C.C. Rider (as in see you later) threw what little support he had to Ryan may have raised eyebrows on the 6th floor, Ryan being considered the more likely to shake things up if elected.

Pat Courtney Strong had the advantage of the women’s vote in a three-way race, less so with only two guys left standing. At least she can now focus on the real prize, beating Capt. Ryan.

Did I mention Jeff Moran, former two-term Woodstock supervisor? Everyone else does, but other than his announcement last week, Moran hasn’t made a peep. A no-show at Sunday’s Democratic love-in. Moran, if he shows up for the Feb. 20 nominating convention in Kingston, will be nominated as a favorite son, thank supporters and move on.

The plot thickens.

Meanwhile, former Hein chief of staff Adele Rider took the oath as acting executive with promises to keep the train on track. It could be we will be in for a long stretch of care-taker government.

Last call for Hector?

Despite announcing he would not run for a ninth term in November, controversy continues to swirl around Democrat Hector Rodriguez of New Paltz.

For the record, legislature chairperson Tracey Bartels says Rodriguez tells her he has no intention of resigning. If so, it would extend a continuing pattern.

One of the legislature’s senior Democrats, Rodriguez lobbied for more than a year for the chairmanship and was this close after the November elections, when suddenly, he wasn’t. Adding insult to injury, Democrats denied their outspoken minority leader even the fall-back position of majority leader in 2019. Relegated to legislative limbo in the middle row of the 12-member Demo majority at its organizational meeting in January, his wounds were salved somewhat by appointment as chairman of the important economic development committee. As deputy chairman last year, Rodriquez had been a frequent critic of the county’s Industrial Development Agency.

Seemingly settling into his new role, and with a bully pulpit to boot, Rodriguez all of a sudden announced he will not seek reelection. That didn’t make sense, still doesn’t. Apparently, some outside forces were in play, but what and from whom?

I could pass along some of the unverified rumors, but I think we have enough of that on the national level. To my astonishment, I actually saw a well-coiffed pretty boy TV anchor say to a sitting senator on Monday morning, “We can’t confirm any of these rumors, but would you care to comment? “Hizzoner could only choke back a few incredulous harrumphs.

We’ll keep our ear to the ground in New Paltz on all things Hector, though one rumor, which I can’t confirm, has important news breaking on this front as early as Thursday.