Dutchess County legislators choose their caucus leaders

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POUGHKEEPSIE – The Republican majority in the Dutchess County Legislature has named Will Truitt of Hyde Park as majority leader and Deidre Houston as assistant minority leader (whip).  The two will officially assume their new roles on January 1, 2022.

“The residents of our county have continually placed their trust in our majority caucus to support small businesses, enhance childhood and mental health services, fight to protect our individual liberties, and deliver tax relief,” Truitt said. 

 Houston represents portions of Amenia, Washington, Pleasant Valley, and the Village of Millbrook.  Calling for unity, Houston said, “We will govern together and continually seek to consider the ideas and perspectives of everyone that we serve. “

The Democratic caucus elected Yvette Valdés Smith (District 16, Fishkill/Beacon) and Barrington Atkins (District 10, City of Poughkeepsie) as minority leader and assistant leader for 2022-2023. The caucus vote was unanimous.

This marks the first time that two minorities will lead the caucus.  Valdes Smith, a Puerto Rican, will serve with African American lawmaker Barrington Atkins. “As a Puerto Rican and an African American, we will lead together and ensure that we are voices not only for those of us who have been historically disenfranchised but for our entire community.”