Pulver retains chairmanship; lone Democrat approves

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Gregg Pulver, re-elected as chairman of the Dutchess Legislature in 2021.

POUGHKEEPSIE – The Dutchess County Legislature held their reorganization meeting on Tuesday and named Gregg Pulver (R-Pine Plains) as Chairman for his fifth one-year term. Veteran lawmaker Randall Johnson (D-City of Poughkeepsie) joined with the GOP majority in supporting Pulver.  The Democratic minority did not nominate an alternative.

In his remarks thanking his colleagues, Pulver said “When we come to the Chambers, we come to unite and move our County forward. We will continue to govern together. We don’t pass budgets or bonding authority without a consensus and support from both parties. It’s not the Republican way or the Democrat way- it’s the Dutchess County way. I thank my colleagues for their support and let’s have a great 2022.”

Pulver was nominated by Legislator Michael Polasek (R – LaGrange), who is seeking to run for the NYS Assembly nominated Pulver saying, “Gregg is genuine, compassionate and cares very much for his community and the 300,000 people that call Dutchess County home.”

Pulver, during his brief remarks, thanked lone Democrat Randall Johnson for voting in favor of the nomination and said “To those of you who did not vote for me, I hope that I can somehow prove to you that true leadership is something that I strive for in life and have for my whole career.”

Rhinebeck Democrat Brennan Kearney, via Zoom, announced that she was not supporting Pulver, citing what she says is “A record amount of gun violence in Poughkeepsie, a deadly mental health crisis taking the lives of Dutchess County residents, and a pandemic still burning through our community,” as her reasons for not supporting Pulver.  Kearney criticized Pulver claiming that he refuses to allow Democrat-sponsored bills to be discussed, saying “This authoritarian approach to leadership is wrong.”

Democrat Johnson, who actually represents Poughkeepsie told Mid-Hudson News “I voted for Gregg because he always asks me how we (the legislature) can help the City of Poughkeepsie.  Other Democrats that don’t spend time in the city never ask me.  My colleagues that never ask are always dragging Poughkeepsie into their arguments without understanding the problems we have.  I have supported Gregg Pulver and will continue because he actually understands the problems we have in Poughkeepsie.”

Video of Pulver’s speech: