[Note – See full list of endorsed Democrats at the bottom of the page]
OP-ED BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
The Rockland County Democratic Committee convened two weeks ago and announced their full list of endorsements.
Many familiar names grace the ballot such as Paul Piperato for county clerk, Howard Phillips for Town of Haverstraw supervisor, Justin Sweet for Town of Clarkstown town clerk, and other well known commodities.
Some of the more interesting candidates include Ricky Sanchez, who has apparently returned to favor in the Democratic Party since moving out of Haverstraw and into Clarkstown, registered Republican Don Franchino, a longtime community activist known for his prowess in charitable fundraising, and Michael Sullivan, the former police chief of the Town of Clarkstown now running against the same supervisor who suspended him and subjected him to months of grueling arbitration hearings.
The big question mark is what is going on near the very top of the ticket?
The Democratic leadership has pilloried Rockland County Executive Ed Day with insult after insult for most of the past three and a half years, yet they have selected the relatively unknown Maureen Porette of Stony Point, still registered as a Republican, to run against him. Porette recently changed her registration, but this will not go into effect until 2018. She claims liberal bonafides, stating she’s been a Democrat at heart all along and only changed to Republican to help a good friend run for a judicial position.
Ms. Porette has every right to run and hopefully she does her part to instigate strong debate, but the reality is that a major party does not select an unknown enrolled in the opposing party if they think the race is in play. The rhetorical attacks against the county executive by much of the Democratic leadership have been grandiose but we now see political reality: not one Democrat with a political future was willing to take a risk and run against Day.
In other contests, the Sullivan vs. Hoehmann saga figures to continue to crescendo into one of the great political dramas of Rockland history, Don Franchino is running for every single party line including Republican and Democrat, claiming “outsider” status and talking positively about both Sullivan and Hoehmann, Ricky Sanchez and his ol’ pals from Haverstraw are finally back on the same party line, Republican Judge Scott Ugell has accepted a nomination from the Democrats and the Rockland County Surrogate Court Race has been left un-endorsed. There will be a primary between Keith Cornell and Legislator Alden Wolfe in the Surrogate Court race, which the Rockland County Times will watch carefully.