VanBlarcum with suppoprters
KINGSTON – Ulster County Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum picked up the Independence Party endorsement Friday in Kingston. A member of the sheriff’s office since 1976, he is seeking re-election to his fourth term in office.
Van Blarcum, a Democrat, has no Republican opponent. He ran unopposed in the previous election as well. However, a Democratic primary against VanBlarcum is brewing with Plattekill resident and retired State Trooper, Juan Figueroa.
“He’s done a fabulous job for us throughout the years, and we need him to continue,” said Len Bernardo, chairman of the Ulster County Independence Party. “He’s level-headed, he’s bi-partisan, and he’s non-partisan – which is more important as a leader.”.
“For sure we now have a fight on our hands this time,” VanBlarcum said. “We had a bigger fight, I think, in 2006 when we ran. We really fought that time and came out victorious, and then two more times after that. I think with the same group of people helping us this year, that well come out on top again.”
The City of Kingston Democratic Committee erupted into near fisticuffs at a raucous nominating meeting last Wednesday when the incumbent VanBlarcum was cast aside for Figueroa. The full Ulster County Democratic nominating convention will be held next Wednesday, May 23.
Kingston Democratic Chairman Joseph Donaldson did not return a phone call for comment about the closed-door city meeting.
The mid-term 2018 elections, marked by widespread political infighting, ruffled feathers among Ulster County Democrats, when VanBlarcum made national headlines for his opinions concerning gun ownership, sanctuary cities, and the National Football League, posted on social media.
VanBlarcum recently attended both the Republican and Democratic Ulster County spring brunch fundraisers and received ovations from both groups.