Orange Dems back Metzger for Senate race

Rosendale Councilwoman Jen Metzger added the Orange County Democratic Committee to her endorsement list in the 42nd Senate District race on Wednesday, winning what her campaign said was 73 percent of the weighted votes cast by more than 150 committee members.

The balance of the votes at the party convention in the Town of Wallkill went to Pramilla Malick, the Minisink environmental activist who’s also running to succeed Sen. John Bonacic, a Mount Hope Republican retiring after 20 years in the Senate. Metzger, a founder and the director of the nonprofit Citizens for Local Power, was backed unanimously by the Ulster County Democratic Committee a week earlier, and also has the endorsements of the Ulster and Sullivan Democratic chairmen, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein, the Working Families Party and others.

Metzger talked about reforming school funding and improving healthcare access in her convention speech, and also made reference to the Competitive Power Ventures power plant that Malick has doggedly fought as chairwoman of the citizens group Protect Orange County.

“We can build a clean energy economy so that projects like CPV don’t keep coming back,” she said in an excerpt released on Thursday. “And we can have a government that truly represents us … Let’s build a lasting progressive movement in the Hudson Valley that speaks to the real needs of the people who live here, and to the health of our environment.”

Malick, who challenged Bonacic for his Senate seat in 2016, dismissed the Orange County committee vote on Wednesday as unrepresentative, and vowed to win a primary against Metzger on Sept. 13. “This endorsement represents the votes of less than 100 people; we have over 34,000 registered Democrats in Orange County (in the 42nd Senate District), and I am confident they will vote for the person they know and trust – me,” she said in a statement.

She touted “a 7-year record of being on the right side, the side of the people,” and said that Democrats must reclaim their party from leaders “who fear strong-willed, independent-minded people that will not be complacent or complicit with a system engineered to protect big moneyed interests.”

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