Local Republicans, Democrats choose nominees for upcoming village elections

Livingston County Democratic Committee Chair Judith Hunter presided  over the caucus of village Democrats  on  Monday Jan. 29 (pictured above). The Democratic and Republican caucuses each selected candidates for the positions of Mayor, Village Justice and Village Trustees. (Annalee Bannison/Photo Editor)

The village Democratic and Republican parties each held caucuses to decide their candidates for the municipal elections, which will take place on March 20. 

The Democratic caucus was held Monday Jan. 29 in the Village Hall. Members of the caucus nominated Margaret Duff as their candidate for a four-year term as Village Mayor, incumbent Tom Bushnell as their candidate for a four-year term as Village Justice and Leah Fletcher and Christopher Ivers as their candidates for two four-year terms as Village Trustees. 

President of the Geneseo Alumni Association Board of Directors Eddie Lee planned to run for the nomination for Mayor, but dropped out in order to allow Duff to be uncontested. Lee ran for one of the Trustee positions instead, but fell one vote short to Ivers. Around 70 members of the community attended the Democratic caucus.

International relations and psychology double major junior Hannah Garty stated that the caucus was a positive experience for the local party. 

“I think it was a good turnout. I was really happy to see that from a small town,” Garty said. “I’m happy to see there was some student turnout as well. In terms of change in the Democratic party and representation, local elections really matter, so it’s important to have substantial turnout for those as well.” 

The Republican caucus was held Tuesday Jan. 30 in the Livingston County Government Building. Village Republicans chose the incumbent mayor Richard Hatheway to run for re-election, Kathleen Houston as their candidate for Village Justice and Rob Deming as their candidate for one of the two open Village Trustee positions. All of the Republican nominations were uncontested and around 30 people attended the Republican Caucus. 

Mac Griffo, another local Republican, expressed satisfaction with the ultimate results of the caucus.

 “Hatheway brings a lot of positive things to the Village Board,” Griffo said. “He’s done a lot of great things for the Village of Geneseo, some of it controversial, but a lot of it has turned out well for the Village. He’s a great budget officer, he’s got a level head and I really hope he does well in this election.”

President of Geneseo College Republicans junior Josh Espinosa was impressed by the lack of conflict over the nominees.  

“I thought it was kind of cool to hear that the mayor had previously been at the college, the geology department which he previously chaired,” Espinosa said. “It sounds like they have a pretty good consensus on the board of who’s doing what.” 

Lee spoke at the Democratic caucus about his concern with voter ambivalence in village elections from previous years. 

“In a democracy, the people should have a voice,” Lee said. “The last two elections were uncontested. In 2014, through apathy, complacency and other reasons, the [mayor] received just 310 votes in this community of over 8,000 people. I don’t think that’s very impressive at all.”


News editor Malachy Dempsey contributed reporting to this article.

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