Multiple candidates filed petitions to run for County Executive in Ulster County. According to the Board of Elections, all of the petitions have been challenged except those of Mike Hein. The challenges come indirectly from the Hein campaign.
Why indirectly? Well, most campaigns have their supporters file challenges in their own names. This way, the candidate can smile for the camera and claim not to have been involved in the challenging. Legally, challenging ALL of the petitions is permissible though it does give the impression of fear or concern to the public. It remains to be seen if specific challenges will be filed.
So, who filed?
Mike Hein filed for the Democrat and Working Families line. He has challenger for the Working Families (WFP)line. Frederick Rasmussen III filed petitions to run for the WFP line. Also, Hunter Downie filed petitions to run on the Green Party line.
I do not know much about either of these gentlemen, but I do know they are involved in some capacity (volunteer or otherwise) with the Catskill Mountain Railroad.
Terry Bernardo filed petitions for the Republican, Conservative, and Independence Party lines.
If all of the petitions get upheld, it creates some interesting scenarios.
First, a WFP primary. Assuming Frederick Rasmussen III is an enrolled member of the WFP, then it will be a straight primary. This could be problematic for Mr. Hein. The WFP is a far left party. Though Mike Hein has very strong support among Democrats, the same is not necessarily true among the WFP members. Hein will be the favorite, but in a WFP primary, anything can happen.
If Mike wins the WFP primary, he will have 2 opponents: Bernardo on 3 lines and Downie on the Green Party line, If he loses the WFP primary, add a 3rd opponent. You can expect that Downie and Rasmussen (on Green and WFP respectively) will take far more votes from Mike Hein than Terry Bernardo.
Mike Hein is still the favorite. He is a 2 term incumbent. However, with the possibility of a well funded opponent with 2 other opponents drawing away left wing support, the advantage of incumbency is suddenly weakened.
Final analysis shows a possible unexpected barn burner for November.