Ulster County Legislator Jeanette Provenzano announced over the weekend that she’ll run for alderwoman-at-large in the City of Kingston.
“My years of legislative and leadership experience, serving the city at the county-level, provide me the necessary skills needed to help me move important issues forward and provide an open line of communication with council and office of mayor,” Provenzano said in an email over the weekend.
Provenzano, an 81-year-old Democrat, lives in the Rondout section of the city and represents District 7 in the county. The county legislative district is made of up of the city’s sixth, seventh and eight wards.
Provenzano, a supporter of Mayor Shayne Gallo, would look to oust current Alderman-at-large James Noble, who’s clashed with the mayor in the past. Gallo is facing a primary challenge this year from Noble’s nephew and city parks employee, Steve Noble and James Noble also announced over the weekend he plans to run again.
Provenzano steps into the race as tensions have risen between Gallo and some fellow Democrats in the Common Council.
With Proevnzano’s departure from the Legislature, two Democrats wasted little time in stepping up to announce they’re interested in taking her seat.
Jennifer Schwartz Berky announced on the same day Provenzano made her announcement bid for Provenzano’s legislative seat. Berky, an urban planner who lives in the Rondout, was previously the deputy director of planning for Ulster County. She was also heavily involved with the Kingston Citizens campaign scrutinizing a failed plan by Niagara Bottling to draw millions of gallons of water a day from the city’s reservoir.
Berky rolled out her announcement with an endorsement from a fellow Kingston Democrat. Ulster County Legislator David Donaldson, vice chair of the Ulster County Legislature and part of a breakaway coalition of Democrats that have aligned with Republicans, signaled his support for Berky.
Also in the running is City resident Brian Woltman, who lives on Abbey Street. He’s been the Purchasing Agent for the City of Kingston for the last 19 years. In his announcement he touted the “unprecedented” progress in the county by Provenzano and Ulster County Executive Mike Hein and won the endorsement of Provenzano.
Provenzano is the third Democrat to announce they won’t be running for another term in the county Legislature among a split and some bad blood between Democrats in the Legislature.
Don Gregorius of Woodstock, the majority leader of the Democrats, said last month that he wouldn’t be running again. He clashed openly with the Legislature’s chair, John Parete.
Though Gregorious is majority leader, Republicans legislators formed a loose coalition with a group of breakaway Democrats, allowing Republicans to keep key committee seats, smack away Democrats choice for chair and wrest some power away from the Democratic majority.
Also on his way out is is Ken Wishnick of New Paltz, who announced Monday he wouldn’t seek a second term either.