Copake Dems are too busy for ballot

COPAKE—If you are a registered voter in Copake and want to cast your ballot for candidates for town offices on the Democratic line, you better make other plans.

The only candidates whose names appear on the Democratic line on the Copake ballot are for State Supreme Court and Columbia County District Attorney.

That’s because the Town Democratic Committee did not conduct a caucus this year and made no local endorsements.

Marcia Becker, who took over as Copake Democratic Committee chair in the spring of this year told The Columbia Paper by phone, that the reason there was no caucus was that all the people who were potential candidates were already working in other capacities to improve things in town and wanted to continue doing so. “Democrats have been working effectively to improve Copake in many ways: individually, by serving on committees, boards and within various local organizations,” Mrs. Becker wrote in an email.

So there are no races for town offices and everyone running is an incumbent with the exception of Stanley “Stosh” Gansowski who is set to claim a seat on the Town Board that will be vacated by Democratic Councilwoman Susan Winchell-Sweeney when her term expires at the end of this year. Ms. Winchell-Sweeney decided not to seek re-election.

Mr. Gansowski, 66, is an enrolled Conservative running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines. He has not held political office before and is retired after 41 years on the job as office manager with Taconic Telephone/Fairpoint Communications.

Mr. Gansowski said he is interested in being involved with the restoration of the hamlet, keeping zoning intact and cleaning up old zoning matters. He wants to support current Supervisor Jeffrey Nayer in his conservative town spending habits and “keep things headed in the right direction.” Mr. Gansowski lives on Weed Mine Road with his wife, Carol. They have one grown son, Justin, who is a disease biologist with the federal government, and two grandchildren.

Incumbents running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party ballot lines are: Supervisor Nayer, an enrolled member of the Independence Party; Town Clerk/Tax Collector Lawrence Proper, a Republican; Councilwoman Kelly Miller-Simmons, a Republican; Town Justice John Spencer, a Republican; and Highway Superintendent William Gregory, an Independence Party member.

To contact Diane Valden email




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