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  • Claverack Democrats

A Message from the Claverack Democrats Town Chair

Dear Friends and Supporters,

I want to thank each of you for the effort you contributed to our 2021 campaign for the Claverack Town Board. Whether it was for a few hours, a few days, or the duration of our months-long campaign effort, your help and support made a difference. You were the largest group of election volunteers we've had, whose collective effort was an ongoing source of inspiration. We were hopeful that when elected, all or some of our candidates could be the ones to lead a new town board, ready to address the current issues and future challenges facing our town. But, that was not to be.

Now that the unofficial election results have been released by the Columbia County Board of Elections and are on their website it is clear that our disappointing losses in the Claverack Town Board race makes it a sad day for the Claverack Democrats. In spite having great candidates who campaigned hard, dozens and dozens of enthusiastic volunteers who worked to support our candidates and our campaign, and a great fundraising effort, the one thing we did not have was enough voters who understood that losing local elections have consequences. Whether because of the political fatigue and despair over the growing anti-democratic movements of the last 5 years, or the hope that a small Democratic majority and a message that resonated across party lines would carry us to victory, they chose not to vote.

The Claverack and County Republican Party message was all about looking in the rear view mirror and convincing their voters that they could just keep doing what they have done for decades. They used fear of change, tribalism, partisanship, and conflating national politics with local politics, to rally their voters. While the Democratic Party message was to look to see the road ahead with all its possibilities and opportunities to make Claverack and Columbia County a more livable, more sustainable, more transparent, more inclusive, and more prosperous version of itself.

We were defeated by a massive Republican Party turnout that was particularly motivated, recognizing that the control of our local towns and County government, as well as the Sheriff’s Department, was in peril. I am thrilled to say that the unofficial results of the Sheriff’s race show that our Democratic candidate for Sheriff, Don Krapf, is leading by 1858 votes, and that hopefully when all ballots are counted, “we will have a new Sheriff in town”. A new Sheriff with democratic values, and a mission to rebuild a demoralized and diminished department into a department that values community engagement and shared responsibility for public safety.

I believe we must start a new path forward as well. It is not enough to search for the very best candidates, run a great campaign, and have a great message. We must spend as much energy on communicating that there are no “off year” elections and no results of staying home on Election Day that are inconsequential.

After we spend this week removing all of our lawn signs on our public roadways, we will be taking a well-deserved rest for the Thanksgiving and the Winter holidays. Then, the work must begin in earnest for the year ahead so that we have decisive victories in the Congressional and Statewide Elections in 2022 and every election thereafter.

Happy Holidays to All,

Stephanie Sussman

Claverack Democratic Town Chair

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