Thanksgiving is here, already. Does it seem early? It does to me. Then again, parts of Putnam County saw snow flurries on Monday. Maybe it’s not as early as I thought.
I’ve spoken to more people, in and out of politics, about the Election Day results. A few more thoughts to chew on with your Thanksgiving dinner:
*This Legislative pay raise is not going to slide easily in the night. It will become a campaign issue, a big one. For a couple of reasons. One is that most ordinary stiffs are not getting a raise of that scale – 14 percent, to $40,839 annually. I know they work hard. I realize they are often out at all hours. It’s still a part-time job, and not a bad one. With a lot of influence and visibility. May not have been the right year for that kind of a raise.
*Which brings me to point 2: Sheriff Don Smith will, within the next few years, be regarded as the person responsible for reinvigorating the Democratic Party in Putnam County. That’s something, considering for how long it’s been virtually moribund. Despite the changes in demographics and voter rolls that have been occurring for years. Well, those changes are now here. And in the deposing of the sheriff, the Democrats have tasted blood. Like my family’s cat Fred, they’re not giving up hunting. Fred goes out in the morning, he hunts. He comes back in, lounges a bit. He goes back outside, he hunts. Besides sleep, eat and tease the dog, that’s all Fred does.
*The Democrats might take on some races more vigorously and others less so, but they’re moving. Hunting. Where do you go after sheriff? Well, the next two logical places on the county level are the county executive and the Legislature. Flipping the Legislature is tough, a good deal tougher. But if the Dems pick up two or three seats, everything is going to change. The county executive’s life would be a lot different, for one. I said last week, if the Dems run a credible candidate and a serious campaign, they’re now in a position to win.
*Kevin McConville of Cold Spring, twice the unsuccessful candidate for sheriff, might well have won in a straight up contest with Robert Langley. He’s got credentials, gravitas, the cop demeanor of someone in management, like those who make detective early and plan to keep moving. But I don’t know that he’d beat Langley as an incumbent. Which Langley now will be.
*This also means, I think, and it’s odd this comes in such a roundabout way, a significant increase in the power of Philipstown in county politics. Philipstown, long an outlier, will be seen as a place for Democrats to rack up the vote total, vital if they are to succeed countywide, given that the rest of the county tilts Republican. Fascinating, that politics might be what finally, at last, causes people to willingly and freely cross the Taconic State Parkway. Imagine, people in Southeast or Patterson and people in Philipstown all talking together. Wow.
Like Thanksgiving or something! Until next week.
Douglas Cunningham is editor and publisher. Reach him at 845-265-2468, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters to the editor, on this or other topics, are welcome. Please send by email as plain text or a Word document by 9 am Monday.