Friday, March 2, 2012
KINGSTON, N.Y. — Mayor Shayne Gallo is taking aim at his own party’s boss.
Gallo said Kingston Democratic Chairman Frank Cardinale does not deserve to become chairman of the Ulster County Democratic Committee, a post Cardinale is seeking.
Cardinale — who backed Gallo’s opponent in the September 2011 primary for the city’s Democratic mayoral nomination — has “polarized” and “divided” the city Democratic Committee and does not have the skills to lead county Democrats, the mayor said.
“(There is) a lack of leadership on the part of Mr. Cardinale, and therefore I think he would be a very ineffective leader of the county party,” Gallo said.
Cardinale responded: “I disagree, and I know a lot of other people would disagree ... but he is entitled to his opinion.”
Cardinale supported then-Alderman Hayes Clement, D-Ward 9, in the September primary that resulted in Gallo getting the Democratic nomination to run for mayor, and Gallo said Cardinale gave him no help in the campaign leading up to the November election.
Gallo said Cardinale’s support of Clement was out of touch with what the “rank-and-file Democrats” wanted.
Cardinale, 66, and fellow Kingston resident Nicky Woerner, 27, a former town of Ulster supervisor, both said on Wednesday that they will seek to succeed Julian Schreibman as county Democratic chairman.
Schreibman, a Stone Ridge resident, announced in January that he was stepping down in order to run for Congress.
The county Democratic Committee is to choose an interim replacement for Schreibman during a convention this month and then pick a two-year chairman in September.
Among those supporting Cardinale is Kingston Alderman Thomas Hoffay, who served as county Democratic chairman from 1990 to 1999 and was the last Kingston resident to hold the job.
Hoffay, D-Ward 2, said Cardinale has significant organizational skills, has brought more structure to the city Democratic Committee and has done a fine job as its chairman.
Hoffay said Cardinale would be the “progressive chairman that we need” at the county level.
“You have to have the ability to deal with all sorts of people in different types of situations,” said Hoffay, the Common Council’s majority leader. “You have to be patient ... and I think Frank has those qualities.”
Cardinale has served as city Democratic chairman since September 2010. He also has been a member of the Common Council and has served as its majority leader.
Gallo did not comment on Woerner’s candidacy to become county Democratic chairman but suggested Ulster County Legislator John Parete, who served as chairman from 1999 to 2008, run for the post.
Gallo said he would support Parete becoming chairman again.