Brannen not seeking re-election to council

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POUGHKEEPSIE – City Councilwoman Sarah Brannen has announced that she will not seek re-election to her fourth ward seat on the Poughkeepsie Common Council in November.  Brannen is currently in the second year of her second term.  She cited the need to focus on her family in announcing her decision.

“I have decided, after much thought, not to seek reelection to a third term to afford me more time with my family and to focus on other professional endeavors,” Brannen told Mid Hudson News on Saturday night.

Brannen’s announcement including a list of initiatives that she considers accomplishments during her tenure. The creation of a land bank was put forth by Brannen and supported by the county government to “help expand affordable homeownership,” according to the lawmaker. Brannen also touted the passing of the Right to Know act, parking fine amnesty program, the police retention program, and the plan to reopen the southern waterfront to public access, and develop a  welcoming and vibrant site, which has led to litigation between the developer and the city.

Councilmember Sarah Brannen.

Council Chairperson Sarah Salem issued a statement Saturday night wishing Brannen well in future endeavors, adding “Councilmember Brannen is an incredible legislator and it has been a great pleasure to work with her over the past 3 plus years on the council. I’m looking forward to our work together this year and am grateful for her dedication and service to the City of Poughkeepsie.”

Second Ward Alderman Evan Menist said Brannen’s announcement was “definitely a surprise, but also understandable.  Doing this job the right way is a huge commitment, one that I know Sarah has taken very seriously.  Sarah has a servant heart,  and a gifted mind, and has given so much of herself to this city.  While I’m sad she won’t be  seeking re-election, I do look forward to completing much of the work we have begun  together over the rest of this term.”

Potential Democratic candidates for the vacant seat are former Common Council Chairwoman Ann Finney and Nathan “Nate” Shook, who serves on the city’s IDA board.