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Orangetown Democrats Endorse Candidates for Town Council, Tax Receiver

The Orangetown Democratic Committee voted to endorse incumbent Andy Stewart for Supervisor, challengers Daniel Salmon and Annmarie Uhl for town council and Chris Smith for Receiver of Taxes Wednesday.

Four years ago, Daniel Salmon of Tappan ran against Republicans Denis Troy and Tom Diviny for the two open seats on the Orangetown Council.

Salmon will try again this fall. The Orangetown Democratic Committee voted during Wednesday's meeting at Orangetown Town Hall to endorse Salmon and Annmarie Uhl of Blauvelt to run against incumbents Troy and Diviny.

"I want to say how pleased I am to have this wonderful slate of candidates to work with," said Orangetown Democratic Committee Chair Toni Fallon. "WE have no excuse not to get them elected."

The committee also endorsed incumbent Supervisor Andy Stewart, who is running for a second term, and Chris Smith of Pearl River, who will challenge long-time incumbent Bob Simon to be Orangetown's Receiver of Taxes. 

"It's exciting to have three really strong candidates for town council and receiver, people with real experience, with knowledge of the town and a social base," Stewart said. "I think we have a chance of making a difference in town hall by running successful campaigns.

"It takes courage and perseverance to run for office. They are going to need our help and support. It's tough, but it's worth it. I'm committed to doing my 110 percent to get a second term. "

Salmon, a member of the South Orangetown Ambulance Corps board of directors, said the decision to run again did not come easily.

"The more I thought about it, the more I came back to the words of Ted Sorensen speaking about what's needed in a candidate," Salmon said. "Someone with a creative mind, a compassionate heart and a courageous spirit. I feel it is time for a leader who will bring the diverse segments of this community together. 

"As we are now in a time for shrinking government resources, it's time to challenge all assumptions and put new ideas on the table. It's time for someone who is not a politician, not in it for personal gain. Someone whose interest is solely for the people of Orangetown."

Uhl is currently serving her third term on the South Orangetown Central School District Board of Education. She also spoke about trying to make stronger connections among the villages and hamlets that make up Orangetown.

"I come from a long-standing tradition in my family of serving the community," Uhl said. "My father was a New York City police officer, but he always made time to do community events. Not only for his children, but he also ran for the local school board and I followed in his tradition."

Smith, a former president of the Rockland County Young Democrats, has been campaigning for months already. He spoke again of the importance of eliminating the Receiver of Taxes, merging the duties into other departments as a cost-saving measure. Simon has also spoken in support of the idea, as have the members of the town board, so it is likely to be on the ballot this fall as a referendum.

"If it passes, the person who wins the election, hopefully me, will serve a four-year term," Smith said. "After that, it will be disbanded."

Smith said he will be unveiling a five-point plan this weekend. Stewart will also be holding a fundraiser/birthday party 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Nyack Center,  a half hour after the end of the Nyack SpringFest street fair.

Stewart spoke Wednesday about major issues facing the town such as the fate of the Rockland Psychiatric Center property and the progress made so far.

"I've been through a lot in 2011 and the last year or so in town hall," Stewart said. "I think we've gotten a lot done to be proud of."

He also addressed the challenges of being the only Democrat on the Orangetown Council with four Republicans.

"My personality and approach are about finding common ground, but there are limits to that sometimes with people's politics and temperament," Stewart said. "I think it is important we work together this season. I think we can bring about good change."

The committee has not endorsed a candidate for Orangetown Town Clerk or Town Justice.

Harvey Cedars April 11, 2013 at 01:00 PM
Mr. Buncher, Thanks for sharing this and thanks to those offering to serve. Do we know how many people attended this meeting and how many registered orangetown democrats took part in the nominating process? I will plan on asking the same question when the Republicans announce their candidates.
GinaWynn April 11, 2013 at 05:07 PM
Happy to see 3 exceptional candidates in the race. Let's do our best to get some fresh perspectives and talent on the town board!
Harvey Cedars April 12, 2013 at 12:25 AM
@GinaWynn or anyone out there care to let the public know how many folks are involved with nominating who winds up on the ballot that all registered voters use? I am hopeful the Orangetown Dems are a vibrant group and do a good job of representing the interests of their party but the lack of info is baffling. Wasn't there multiple folks trying for the nominations last year?
GinaWynn April 12, 2013 at 12:53 AM
Don't know the details, was just reacting to the article and the fact that I know the individuals running.
Harvey Cedars April 26, 2013 at 01:09 PM
The Republicans have nominated Mr. Wettjie, at least 65 people were at the meeting. How many Dems came out to represent their party? I gather it had to be at least 5-6 people. Please tell me the names on the ballot are determined by more people than that.

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