Five candidates for Otsego County Board of Representatives’ seats, including three incumbent Democrats, said Tuesday they are running with the endorsement of the anti-fracking group Sustainable Otsego and are embracing the organization’s 10-point platform.
The two non-incumbents getting Sustainable’s backing are Dan Buttermann, a town of Oneonta Democrat competing against Oneonta Town Council Member Janet Hurley-Quackenbush, and Stu Anderson, a Republican anti-drilling activist challenging Rep. Kathleen Clark, R-Otego, the board’s chairwoman.
Anderson said he will change his enrollment to the Democratic Party as soon as he can.
The thee incumbents accepting the group’s endorsement are Reps. John Kosmer, D- Fly Creek, Beth Rosenthal, D-Roseboom and Gary Koutnik, D-Oneonta. The latter is unopposed this year, while Kosmer and Rosenthal have GOP challengers in the persons of, respectively, Rick Hulse Jr. of Fly Creek and Bill Glockler of Middlefield.
The board’s current make-up is evenly divided with seven Democrats and seven Republicans, although the GOP controls the majority of the weighted votes.
Seeing themselves as within striking distance, the Democrats say they believe the 2013 election gives them their best shot in years to take charge of county government. The five contestants accepting the Sustainable Otsego endorsement said they agreed with the group’s agenda, which includes new plank backing “sustainable” growth of the town of Oneonta’s Southside business area, by backing a proposed municipal water project there.
But three Democratic candidates for the county board were not in the field of hopefuls getting promoted by Sustainable Otsego.
They included Ed Lentz, a New Lisbon town board member as well as a lawyer and a farmer who is seeking the District 5 seat being vacated by Rep. Pauline Koren, R-Milford.
Lentz, who is being opposed by Jamie Waters (a Republican contractor from Milford), said he is not courting the Sustainable Otsego endorsement even though he shares the group’s stance that hydraulic fracturing for shale gas should remain banned in New York.