The Clarkstown Republican Committee held its nominating convention on Wednesday night and its members approved candidates for the seven town elected offices. There was one candidate nominated for each position except for town supervisor. Ralph Sabatini, who ran in 2011, was nominated from the floor by a committee member but “respectfully declined” to run. The committee also voted in favor of making candidate recommendations to the Rockland County Republican Committee for county executive and county clerk.
The executive committee recommended and committee members approved the nominations of Ralph Riverso of Valley Cottage for supervisor, John Noto of New City for council and Kate Sheridan of Valley Cottage for clerk. Committee members nominated four incumbents: Highway Superintendent Wayne Ballard, Councilman George Hoehmann, Town Justice Scott Ugell and Town Justice Craig Johns.
Riverso, who currently works for the Rockland County Board of Elections, said he has a background in finance and worked on Wall Street. Riverso singled out the issues of high taxes, which had caused members of his family to leave the area. Noto, who worked as the county’s director of real property tax for eight years, said he wants to see Clarkstown’s economic base expanded to ease the burden on homeowners.
Sheridan, whose mother-in-law Patricia Sheridan held the town’ clerk’s position for 28 years, said she hopes to continue that legacy. This is the first run for public office for Riverso, Noto and Sheridan.
Johns, who has served as a town justice for 20 years, said Clarkstown’s court is the third largest town court in the state because of the drug arrests on the New York Thruway and incidents at the Palisades Center. Ugell has been a town judge for 22 years and Ballard has held the highway superintendent’s position for 16 years. Hoehmann is serving his fourth year on the town board.
The committee recommended the nominations of Legislator Ed Day of New City for county executive and Donna Held of New City for county clerk to the Rockland County Republican Committee.
Held previously ran against David Carlucci for the Clarkstown town clerk’s position. Carlucci left that position when he was elected to the New York State Senate.
Day said county residents are suffering from malaise and feel that the county is “done.”
“My goal personally is to put the county on notice that we are out there, we are going to win, we are going to change the direction of this county,” said Day.
Clarkstown GOP Chairman Bob Axelrod told the approximately 100 people attending that the goal had been to hold the nominating convention earlier than in previous years to give the candidates a head start on fundraising efforts.
“Technically it’s just nice to know you are the nominee, you are the candidate,” he said.
County Republican Chair Vincent Reda also spoke and said the county committee will be fully behind the candidates. He said they needed to keep the county executive’s office Republican. Reda read statistics that the majority of county legislatures, county executives, county clerks and sheriffs in New York are Republicans. The county GOP meets on Thursday, May 9.