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  • Writer's pictureClaverack Democrats

Claverack Democrats Endorse Candidates

Claverack, NY: The Claverack Democrats, with the goal of changing the leadership and vision of Claverack, have chosen their 2021 candidates for Town Board and Clerk, and also endorsed Richard Koweek for County Judge.

“We are thrilled that Supervisor candidate Kathleen Proper, Councilmember candidates Brenda Shufelt and Brian York, and Town Clerk candidate Nat Drake received unanimous support at the Town Caucus from the Claverack Democrats,“ said Stephanie Sussman, Chair of the Claverack Democrats.

“Claverack has an opportunity this year. Our town developed a Comprehensive Plan for the future in 2008, but most of the goals outlined in the plan were never realized. We need new leaders to update Claverack’s Comprehensive Plan and actually do their job to get it done. Claverack’s future is on the ballot,” said Town Chair Sussman.

Claverack Town Supervisor

Kathleen Proper said, “I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Claverack Democrats for the role of Town Supervisor.” She stated, “We’re ready to get to work and have a lot to do, and I’m looking forward to hearing from residents about the issues that matter most and working together to effectively represent everyone at the town and county levels.”

Claverack Town Councilmembers

Brenda Shufelt, a native of Columbia County, had a career in public education, was involved in her school union, and recently retired as Program Director of the Hudson Area Library. She has experience with leveraging the resources of many different types of organizations and businesses collaboratively to help support families and serve the needs of many different constituencies, giving her the necessary skills to represent all Claverack constituents.

“I am proud and honored to receive the Democratic nomination for Claverack Town Councilmember,” Shufelt stated. “I plan on listening to the needs of our residents, doing the hard work of researching smart solutions to issues important to us, and working together with other officials and with residents to make those solutions a reality.”

Brian Yorck, also a native of Claverack and lifelong Columbia County resident, has experience in emergency services, oversight of the use of government property by utility providers, and securing multi-million-dollar revenue sources for government, giving him the experience needed to handle some of the town’s most pressing issues. He has also previously served as Town Magistrate, Active Fireman, and Democratic Committeeperson while living in the Town of Ancram. Yorck’s commitment to public service runs deep.

“It was so exciting to see the number of like-minded democrats that joined us for our Caucus,” said Yorck. “The Town of Claverack is fortunate to have so many who care about our future. I want to thank everyone for the nomination to represent them as Town Councilmember. I am humbled by their support and honored to be included with such an exceptional group of candidates.”

Claverack Town Clerk & Tax Collector

Nat Drake, an artist and educator living in Philmont for almost a decade, has worked extensively as a teacher of music and art in Philmont. For almost eight years, Drake worked with the developmentally disabled population as a music teacher, caseworker, job developer, and legal advocate, giving him unique qualifications to be an effective communicator and implementer. Prior to moving to the area, Drake maintained an arts producing organization and served as an information services clerk for a vast music archive.

Drake said, “I am deeply honored to be nominated for Town Clerk.” He said that he is excited to join the Democratic ticket because he “believes in the future of our beautiful town.” He added, “I’m thrilled to be a part of the team that will help shape a better Claverack.”

Sussman stated, “The Claverack Democratic Committee is proud to have four outstanding candidates for the November 2021 Town election who have the deep knowledge of our community, the desire to serve all of the residents of Claverack, and to work hard to tackle the current and future needs of our town.”

County Judge

The Claverack Democrats also endorsed Judge Richard Koweek, who is running for re-election and was first elected to the County Court in 2012 for a ten-year term. Judge Koweek expressed gratitude, saying, “I would like to thank the Claverack Democrats for their endorsement of my candidacy to be re-elected as County Court Judge. It is an honor. I will continue to do my best to treat those that appear in the courtroom with dignity and honesty, giving all litigants a fair and equal opportunity to have their voices heard. I will continue to judge each case fairly and with the dignity the situation deserves.” Koweek received his law degree from Albany Law School in 1978 and has been a practicing attorney for 32 years.

Claverack Democratic Committee

The Claverack Democratic Committee is committed to putting our core democratic values to work on a grassroots level. Our strength comes from our beliefs of honoring inclusion and diversity; respect for liberty, equality, and justice; and improving the quality of life for all in our community.

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