Democrats want to be more involved in Orleans, despite being outnumbered by Republicans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 July 2019 at 10:17 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: Jeanne Crane, chairwoman of the Orleans County Democratic Party, is pictured with Kara Buscaglia, an Amherst town justice, during Sunday’s Orleans County Democratic Party summer picnic. Buscaglia is running for one of the State Supreme Court justice positions for the 8thJudicial District.

ALBION – The Orleans County Democratic Party is looking forward to November’s elections, with candidates stepping forward to run for town and county offices.

Jeanne Crane, chairwoman of the Democrats in Orleans, praised the candidates for running despite being outnumbered by Republicans, who have a 2-to-1 enrollment advantage over Democrats.

The Democrats have many quality candidates for local offices, she said.

Fred Miller of Albion is unopposed for an Orleans County Legislature position, representing the towns of Albion and Gaines.

At the town level, Mike Maak is running for Ridgeway town supervisor. Maak has run for county legislator before.

Democrats also have endorsed Darlene Benton and Terry Wilbert for Albion Town Board seats, and Michael Neidert for town highway superintendent. In Barre, Democrats backed Maureen Beach for town clerk, Rick Root for town justice, and Luann Tierney for Town Board.

In Kendall, Democrats have endorsed Margaret Lynn Szozda for re-election to the Town Board. In Shelby, Democrats backed Darlene Rich for town clerk, and Mike Fuller for highway superintendent. Fuller, the incumbent, lost a close Republican primary on June 25 to Dale Root.

The Orleans County Democratic Party Committee doesn’t cross-endorse Republican candidates at the county level, but the committee is willing to consider an endorsement of Republican candidates at the town level. That is the case with both Neidert and Fuller, who are Republicans.

Provided photo: Nate McMurray, a Congressional candidate in 2018 against Chris Collins, attended Sunday’s picnic. He is shown with Theresa Schmackpfeffer, who volunteered in the kitchen for the chicken barbecue dinners.

McMurray lost a very close election to Collins. McMurray hasn’t committed to whether he is running for Congress again next year. He urged Democrats to be more involved in local government in Orleans County, where Republicans dominate the elected positions.

Thom Jennings served as the auctioneer for items that were donated as a fundraiser for the Democratic Party.

Mike Schmackpfeffer help serve the chicken dinners, Sandra Walter is at left. The Democrats sold 150 chicken barbecue dinners on Sunday. About 75 people attended the event at the QWL Building on Washington Street.

Caleb Beltran, 4, attended the picnic with his family.

Return to top