Standing in the cold with Cyndy Hall, our Columbia County Democratic Chair, we eagerly awaited the arrival of Sean Eldridge, the Democratic congressional candidate, outside the Post Office on Saturday afternoon. Though the temperature had climbed into the 30’s, we retreated into Claverack Food Mart’s homely backroom cafe for the comfort of coffee and warmth. Our cast of political activists was familiar, if not expected, leading the charge for early momentum in the next election. As we waited, strategies for increased Democratic registration and getting out the vote were discussed, along with concerns ranging from power lines to airport expansion issues. Periodic updates on Sean’s location fed our anticipation and served to hold us patiently enthralled of his arrival.
He suddenly appears, with his Superman good looks and energy level, along with his marriage partner, Chris, and his campaign manager, Michael. After a brief greeting, he launched into a passionate discussion of the issues he sees challenging our local community, as well as, national political concerns. He made for a stark contrast in positions and solutions with the current Republican incumbent, Chris Gibson. His succinct yet encompassing review left me encouraged by how internalized these positions have become for him and his desire to work on them. He asked us to voice our own thoughts, regarding both local and national issues in a brief around the room temperature check. The discussion ranged from the involvement of youth in the campaign to broadband coverage throughout the county. The small group had wide support within the community and is known for their efforts to improve circumstances for all. Joe Steele, Enid Futterman, Marty Davidson, Peggy Lampman and Ian Nitschke has been among the strongest voices for change and were among those there to conduct the “candidate’s door knocking caravan” throughout the hamlet.
It didn’t escape the attention of many that our Democratic meeting was being held under the Fox News station blaring overhead, as a counterpoint reminder of the challenges we have ahead. With a smile from the proprietary sentry, a delicious pizza was shared amongst the entire group, with recognition that an army travels best on a full stomach. The petition to include Sean Eldridge on the upcoming November 4 ballot needs the signature of every Democratic voter possible. Please contact Enid, Cyndy and Vicki to sign the petition.