After first being shut out, Bernardo gets Ulster County GOP nod

Update:  County GOP Chair Roger Rascoe says he objects to the characterization of the recent meeting an a “backdoor” meeting. He says it was a regularly scheduled business meeting of the Ulster County Republican Committee.

After shutting out Terry Bernardo at the Ulster County GOP nominating convention two weeks ago, the Ulster County Republican Committee has changed its tune and endorsed her in a backdoor meeting last week to run for county executive.

Roger Rascoe, Ulster County Republican Party chair, said Tuesday that the party’s executive committee met in private on June 11 and gave its endorsement to Bernardo.

“She’s going to be a viable candidate,” Rascoe said.

The unofficial endorsement comes after a messy nominating convention where Bernardo, a former Ulster County Legislature chair, said before the meeting that she planned to run but Rascoe closed the nominations for Republican contenders for executive seat before Bernardo or anyone else had an opportunity to nominate her.

Rascoe closed the nominations so fast that he forgot to give Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright a chance to make an endorsement speech.

Rascoe said he shut the door on Bernardo two weeks ago because she didn’t go through the process of appealing to the executive committee before the convention. He said that she she came to the meeting last week and made her case and sent letters to committee members, though he declined to say what was discussed.

“I don’t discuss political issues,” the GOP party chair said.

When asked what specific positions Bernardo has that convinced the party she was their candidate, Rascoe would only say “all of our positions.”

Rascoe said 16 out of 23 towns , who make up the GOP’s executive committee, endorsed Bernardo at the closed door meeting last week.

In a press release, Bernardo also announced that she’s received the endorsement of the county Conservative Party.

“I am happy my campaign for County Executive has won the endorsement of both the Republican and Conservative Committees,’ Bernardo said. “We are already busy collecting petition signatures and raising money.”

Bernardo, 49, represented the Town of Rochester and part of the Town of Wawarsing for two two-year terms before she was defeated in 2013 by Democrat Lynn Archer. She’ll face off against Ulster County Executive Mike Hein, 49 and from Hurley, who’s seeking his third term. He was unanimously endorsed by the county Democratic Committee in late May.

The county executive position is a four-year term and makes $133,572.

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