Former Woodstock supervisor seeks to succeed Hein (updated)

Jeff Moran, who served two terms as Woodstock town supervisor from 2008 to 2012, has joined the field of Democrats seeking the party’s nomination to run for Ulster County executive to succeed Mike Hein, who left the post after 10 years to take a leadership job in state government.

Moran said in an email on Wednesday that he owns Electric Prism, a software development company that specializes in online learning applications and graphical user interfaces. He said he also has a background in architectural sculpture, commercial film production and mechanical contracting.

Also seeking the nomination are Pat Ryan, the runner-up in last year’s Democratic primary for New York’s 19th Congressional District seat; and Pat Strong, who ran unsuccessfully for state Senate last year.

Ulster Democratic committee members are set to meet on Feb. 20 in Kingston to nominate a candidate to run in a special election to serve until Hein’s term expires at the end of the year. But the county’s Democratic and Republican chairmen reportedly have both asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo to forego calling a special election, which they say is costly and unnecessary because another election must be held this year for a full, four-term term as county executive.

Skipping the special election would mean that Ulster voters would have to cast ballots only once or twice (in the event of a June 25 primary) for county executive this year, rather than three times.

Moran said he does plan to compete in a Democratic primary if the party nominates another candidate on Feb. 20.

Adele Reiter, a deputy county executive and Hein’s former chief of staff, is serving as acting county executive until a successor is elected. Hein resigned from his post on Sunday to start work as acting commissioner of the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, pending confirmation of his appointment by the state Senate.

(Update: Cardinale said Friday that Ulster County Attorney Mark Longtoe is discussing with Cuomo’s office whether the governor or the county would schedule a special election. The answer is ambiguous because the county charter says only that a special election must be called without 90 days of the county executive’s resignation, not who would make that call.

Cardinale said he hopes to oppose a special election because it could cost the county around $350,000 and result in Ulster having as many as four different county executives in the span of a year.)

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