There are two contested primaries that involve voters in Ramapo and Rockland. These are important primaries that deserve your participation.
The 97th Assembly District
The two Democratic Assembly candidates are Thomas Gulla and Ellen Jaffee. Why does Thomas Gulla want this position? There are unconfirmed reports that he has already sold his house in Airmont. He didn’t even sign his own petition. Sources tell us most of Gulla’s petition signatures were collected in Kaser and New Square. Obviously he is their candidate. Gulla ran for mayor of Airmont twice, was defeated, and has had a poor record of attendance on the Airmont planning board. He has missed board meetings where he would have had to vote on controversial measures. Perhaps he just needs a decent salary that he can “earn” without too much effort.
Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, of course, is very well known and has been a tireless advocate for all of the citizens of her district. She has quite appropriately been recognized for her fight for women’s rights and public education.
More than two years ago she opposed the dreadful idea of a chicken slaughter house in New Square. Ellen also led the effort in the state assembly to create a monitor with veto power over the East Ramapo school board. That measure passed in the assembly, but was defeated in the senate thanks to the efforts of Republican Senate leader John Flanagan, Aaron Wieder, and the religious organization Agudah Israel.
We don’t know who found a third rate candidate willing to run against Ellen, but she clearly deserves our strong support in the 97th assembly district primary.
The 98th Assembly District
In the Republican primary the two candidates are Assemblyman Karl Brabenec and John Allegro. Karl Barbenec was elected for the first time two years ago with only a modest plurality. He is a typical machine politician who has been careful to avoid any statements or actions that might be considered hostile to the leaders of the Kiryas Joel community. Following the lead of John Flanagan, the NYS Republican leader, he voted against the legislation that would have established a monitor with veto power for the East Ramapo schools.
His opponent is John Allegro, one of the leaders of United Monroe and a founding member of Preserve Hudson Valley. In this strange primary election Karl Barbenec arrived at the board of elections before the leaders of United Monroe and had his petition accepted as the official candidate of United Monroe. There were irregularities on his petition. Barbenec’s petition is now being challenged in court by a very angry United Monroe.
John Allegro is not a friend of the state Republican machine and as an independent Republican he deserves the vote of Preserve Ramapo’s Republican supporters in this primary.
In the Democratic primary the two candidates are Aaron Wieder and Krystal Serrano. Supporters of East Ramapo may recall that Aaron Wieder is a former president of the East Ramapo school board. As president of the school board he helped engineer the sale of two East Ramapo schools, and the decisions that have led to a fiscal disaster in East Ramapo. He then became a paid consultant to Naromie Jasmine, the mayor of Spring Valley. As she explained to Robert Rhodes before she was convicted for accepting a bribe, “He tells me what the Hasidic community wants.” Wieder is now on the Rockland county legislature where he joined with Ilan Schoenberger and Alden Wolfe in opposition to that board’s resolution supporting an East Ramapo monitor with veto power. Aaron worked tirelessly as a lobbyist in Albany fighting against the creation of the proposed monitor.
His opponent is Krystal Serrano who is once again running for this seat on the state assembly. As a Monroe resident Krystal has been active in local affairs as a partner of the Jewish Community Relations Council, the NAACP, and the Health First and Health Start community action programs.
Krystal deserves our support in the Democratic primary.
Please come out on Tuesday to support these three candidates.
Chairman Preserve Ramapo
To find your voting district and the location of the polling stations click here for the information from the Rockland County Board of Elections. You can also view a copy of the ballot for your district.