GHENT–Assemblymember Didi Barrett and William Truitt are running for the state 106th District Assembly seat. The district includes the towns of Ghent, Claverack, Germantown, Livingston, Clermont, Tagkanic, Copake, Ancram and Greenport, and the City of Hudson. It also includes several towns in Dutchess County including the Poughkeepsie.
Assemblymember Barrett was elected in a special election in March 2012 to what was then the 103rd District after then Assemblyman Marcus Molinaro resigned to become Dutchess County executive. The district was redrawn to become the new 106th Assembly District, which included more of the southern part of the Columbia County. Ms. Barrett won in general election in 2012 for the new 106th seat and then was reelected in 2014 and 2016.
Mr. Molinaro is currently running for governor on the Republican line.
About 30% of all the voters in the district live in Columbia County, the rest in Dutchess. Democrats have the enrollment advantage in both counties, but voters who do not belong to any party account for a bloc of votes almost as large as the GOP.
The assembly seats are for two-year terms.
The polls are open November 6 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
What follows in alphabetical order are each candidate’s responses to a questionnaire from The Columbia Paper.
Assemblymember Didi Barrett, 68, a Democrat, is running on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families ballot lines this November.
Ms. Barrett was born in New York City and now lives in Claverack. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from UCLA and a master’s degree in American Folk Art from New York University. She was the former director of publications at the American Folk Art museum and freelance journalist
Ms. Barrett was also a former trustee of the New York Women’s Foundation, NARAL, and Planned Parenthood New York City. She is a current board member of the North East Dutchess Fund of Berkshire Taconic.
Ms. Barrett has received the Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley Lucy Cohen Humanitarian Award (2018) and Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood Advocate for Choice Award (2017).
In a candidate statement Ms. Barrett wrote:
“I’ve always fought to address the issues that matter most to our families–that’s why I do my Diner Stop tour across Columbia and Dutchess Counties. For six years, I’ve taken the feedback I’ve gotten from constituents and worked to put it into action. That’s why I’m fighting to get broadband to every household in Columbia County, working to prevent Lyme disease and improve healthcare coverage and costs, and creating a government that works for everybody. I’ve authored legislation to improve insurance coverage for Lyme disease and provide access to lifesaving breast cancer screenings. I’ve advocated for measures to extend the property tax cap, improve transparency in state government, and provide local farms with the support they need to succeed for generations to come. But there is much more to do, including continuing to protect our natural resources, fighting the opioid epidemic and increasing mental health services. If re-elected, I will to continue fighting for all these critical issues.”
More information about Ms. Barrett’s campaign is at DidiBarrett.com.
William G. Truitt
Will Truitt, 23, is a registered Republican running on the Republican, Conservative, Women’s Equality and Reform ballot lines. Since 2016 he has been a Dutchess County Legislator representing the towns of Hyde Park and Poughkeepsie.
Mr. Truitt lives in Hyde Park. He has a BS in business administration with a concentration in finance with minors in accounting and economics from Marist College. He works as a business assistant at Bridge View Excavation Inc.
Mr. Truitt is a member of the Hyde Park Baptist Church, liaison to the Dutchess County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board, and a member of Dutchess County Benefit Assessment Review Board.
He was named a Hudson Valley Forty Under 40 honoree.
In his candidate statement Mr. Truitt wrote:
“The people of Columbia and Dutchess counties deserve a representative in Albany who will stand up and be a constant advocate for them. The Hudson Valley does not receive our fair share of state funding, meanwhile our seniors and our youth are moving out of the state in droves due to the enormous taxes that we face. To make matters even worse, Governor Cuomo and the state Assembly majority have cultivated a culture of corruption in Albany, where special interests are rewarded with government contracts in exchange for their campaign contributions. This absolutely must end. As assemblyman, I vow to protect our taxpayer dollars ensuring that they are spent effectively, efficiently and ethically. I will also work to enforce term limits on all state elected officials as well as implement meaningful campaign finance reform.”
More about Mr. Truitt’s campaign is at www.truitt4ny.com