07 June, 2006

Hall Is King In Dutchess, County Dems Back Him With 81% Of Vote


Dutchess County Democrats voted overwhelmingly last night to make John Hall their favorite in the six-person horse race for the party's nomination in the 19th Congressional District.

Hall got 81% of the vote.

PHOTO CREDIT:Michael Polito

Hall has now been the top choice in two of the five counties that are included, in part or in whole, in the 19th District. His other victory was in Orange County and he also finished second in Putnam County.

Rockland County will vote Thursday night, and Hall tells NyPols that he is "looking pretty solid there."

Only two other candidates have won county party endorsements,
Darren Rigger in Putnam County and Jiim Martorano in northern Westchester.

Martorano finished a very distant second in Dutchess County last night and Rigger, who was not at last night's gathering, got a smattering of votes.

Three candidates have not won in any of the four counties that have held conventions so far. Judy Aydelott has finished third only in her home turf of northern Westchester and was not even nominated at last night's event in Dutchess County. Ben Shuldiner and Gary Suraci also have not made a dent at the conventions. Suraci got no votes last night.

Democratic Party leaders in the district have been trying to pare down the field. Among them is Dutchess County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ruggiero. After last night's vote Ruggiero said "John Hall is the clear Hudson Valley candidate...It's time for Democrats to unite behind John Hall, the one true candidate to beat Sue Kelly."

Dutchess County is Hall's home county.

Kelly, of course, is the veteran Republican who holds the 19th District seat.

Hall told NyPols there is talk within the party of trying to convince the candidates who have not won any county endorsements to step aside. That would leave Hall, Martorano and Rigger still standing.

In a memo to his staff, Hall said Martorano told him last night that "he wants to talk." Hall, in the memo, said he is hopeful that the Yorktown councilman "is getting ready to concede and back me."

In the memo, Hall said he felt the field of other candidates might be narrowed, or even eliminated, after Thursday's convention in Rockland.

Hall's campaign also put out a report to supporters, saying the campaign has seen recent polls that give Hall a double-digit lead over other candidates, but provided no details and did not identify the polls. The campaign also said a high-profile music concert series, featuring Jackson Browne and later this month Bonny Raitt, have raised over $100,000 so far.

ROCKLAND GOP NAMES ITS SLATE

Republicans in Rockland County met last night to pick their slate of candidates for the fall.
Former Suffern Trustee Joseph Brennan was picked to run for the 95th Assembly District seat recently vacated by Democrat Ryan Karben.

Incumbent Sue Kelly was nominated for re-election in the 19th Congressional district, Jim Faulkner, a Yonkers contracter, was named to run against Democrat incumbent Eliot Engel in the 17th District and Richard Hoffman will run against incumbent Democrat Nita Lowey in the 18th District, according to The Journal News. Hoffman lost to Lowey in 2004.

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