Friday, December 15, 2017
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Mark Frost’s 2016 election endorsements

By Mark Frost, Chronicle Editor

Necessity is the mother of invention, so for the first time I’m doing my election endorsements on the Web instead of in the print version of The Chronicle. Why? Because I ran out of time and space in this week’s paper edition.

So here are my choices and observations.

For President — I can’t vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

Donald Trump is frightfully unfit. He taps the deep distress within much of the American population, but it’s sad that such a selfish, unethical jerk became its standard-bearer.

Hillary Clinton has her own baggage, like the profound corruption in how the Clintons ply government “service” and the Clinton Foundation into personal gain and maximized power.

I remain certain that Hillary will be elected President. I have no confidence she will unite the nation or even really want to.

I’m voting for Elise Stefanik for Congress. I think Elise has done a good job in her first year of connecting to the district, putting down roots. She works hard, she’s smart and approachable. I assume the Democrats will win the U.S. Senate as well as the Presidency; I definitely want the Republicans to retain the House.

Green Party nominee Matt Funiciello — whom I voted for last time — is my friend, and he has an important, coherent, new perspective to offer. I find it not reflective of mainstream sentiment in the 21st Congressional District, but with New York moving so quickly to the left, maybe it will be mainstream soon.

Democratic nominee Mike Derrick? He seemed to gain a little footing late in the game, but as Matt Funiciello rightly asks, “Who is this guy?

What’s wrong with the Democrats? Bill Owens showed they can win and hold this district, but Aaron Woolf last time and Mike Derrick this time have such tenuous connection here that they lack critical mass. Convince a John Strough or Dan Girard to run — at least until Larry Bulman retires from his union job and becomes available. He would be a serious candidate!

I’m voting for Betty Little for State Senate. I am proud that Betty is our senator — and always amazed at how she seemingly shows up for everything even though her district is vast. Betty has cultivated Gov. Andrew Cuomo and plays the game smartly.

I’m voting for Dan Stec for Assembly. As with Betty, I’m proud of Dan Stec. We’re lucky to have two such outstanding and upstanding state legislators. They are totally connected both to county, town, city and village officials and to communities and their needs and events.

Robin Barkenhagen, the Green candidate for Assembly running against Dan, is someone I like and respect — and I’m impressed both at the seriousness and hard work of his campaign and at his attempt to find common ground. How many Green Party candidates in New York favor repeal of the New York Safe Act!? The challenge for the Greens, it seems to me, is building bridges to people who aren’t pre-sold on their ideology. That’s how you win elections.

I’m voting for Ted Wilson for Warren County Family Court Judge. I write about this race in the print edition of The Chronicle in my “Inside Scoop” column. People speak well of both Ted and his opponent Rob Smith. I think Ted has been treated unfairly during this campaign, which sent me in the opposite direction.

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