Ulster Legislature expected to name Democrat to replace former Republican legislator


KINGSTON – The Ulster County Legislature will meet in special session Thursday evening to fill the vacancy left by the recent death of Republican James Maloney. Democrats hold a slim majority and will likely name former legislator Brian Cahill, a Democrat, to the post through the end of the year.

Cahill is seeking a full term in the November election.

County Republican Chairman Roger Rascoe is urging lawmakers to instead appoint Maloney’s widow, Brenda, to the position for the remainder of 2019.

“The Democrats already have the majority – they are 12 to 10,” Rascoe said. “If they appoint Brenda Maloney, it’s 12 to 11 – the Democrats will still have the majority; they have nothing to name for it other than political gamesmanship.”

Legislature Chairwoman Tracey Bartels, a Democrat, acknowledged Maloney’s legacy as a public servant, said continuity of government is of utmost importance.

“Brian Cahill is both qualified; he has served before,” Bartels said. “He understands the legislature, the government and the processes and he can begin work on day one, which is of utmost importance in a budget cycle.”

Rascoe said precedence has been set with the appointment of the widows of legislators Vinny Dunn and Dan Alfonso, when they passed away years ago.

Cahill will face Republican Andi Turco-Levin, the Republican-Conservative candidate, in the November election for the legislative seat held by the late Maloney.

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