Jump To: Re-Elect Senator Sue Serino | Re-Elect Assemblyman Kieran Lalor | Will Truitt for Assembly | Re-Elect Congressman John Faso | James D. O’Donnell for Congress | Karen Hagstrom for Family Court Judge | Judge Michael Hayes for Surrogate’s Court Judge
Marc Molinaro for Governor
Marcus J. Molinaro was elected as Dutchess County’s 7th County Executive in November 2011. At 36, he took office as the youngest County Executive in county history.
Marc Molinaro was first elected to public office at the age of 18 in 1994, serving on Village of Tivoli Board of Trustees. In 1995, he became the youngest mayor in the United States. He was re-elected mayor five times and elected four times to the Dutchess County Legislature. In 2006, he brought his passion for public service to Albany when elected to represent the 103rd District in the New York State Assembly. Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed him to serve on the Governor’s Mandate Relief Redesign Team.
Upon taking the office of County Executive, Marc sought to create a comprehensive economic development strategy, one that more aggressively attracts and retains private sector companies and jobs. This strategy – 4RFuture: Reform, Retain, Reinvest, Recruit – streamlines the County’s economic development apparatus, invests in a targeted marketing campaign to fill vacant commercial and industrial space, and promotes tourism as well as agri-business opportunities.
Marc has been leader on Open Space Protection and Farmland Preservation, an advocate to preserve the Hudson River Valley Greenway and a supporter of the Greenway Compact. In 2013, the New York State Senate appointed him to the Greenway Heritage Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley. In 2014, Marc was honored by the Pace University Land Use Law Center as the recipient of its Groundbreaker’s Award given to a graduate of the Center’s Land Use Leadership Alliance (LULA) Training Program.
Since 2012, Marc and his Administration have transformed the way County Government does business – making it smaller, smarter, and more effective. The consolidation of county departments and divisions has saved millions of taxpayer dollars. County Government now operates with its smallest workforce in 32 years without diminishment of core services such as law enforcement, mental health, and road repair. It ended the taxpayer subsidy at the Resource Recovery Agency (RRA) and seeks now to do the same at the Airport with a private operator and commercial investments. County Government now provides grants to municipalities that share, consolidate, and make more effective their programs and services all in an effort to cut the total cost of government. In 2015, Marc launched “Think Differently,” an initiative to ensure equal access and service, along with greater outreach, to those living with special needs and developmental disabilities. Efforts continue to make County Government more accountable and responsive to the public, providing unprecedented access to county information and data with Marc himself hosting over 60 town hall and public forums in his first 3 ½ years as County Executive.
Marc has been active in numerous community and civic organizations. In 2010, he was honored with the VV Anderson Award for Community Service by the Anderson Center for Autism. In 2012, the readers of Hudson Valley Magazine voted Molinaro “Best Politician” in the Hudson Valley region. In 2014, Marc received the Champion for Elder Rights and Safety Award from the Coalition on Elder Abuse in Dutchess County. Marc serves on the New York State Association of Counties’ (NYSAC) Board of Directors and in 2015 he was elected the organization’s Second Vice President.
County Executive Marc Molinaro and family reside in Red Hook.
Re-Elect Senator Sue Serino
Senator Sue Serino started working at age 15 and never stopped. She learned early on the value of being able to capitalize on her incredible work ethic and that understanding has served to shape her entire adult life. Sue began as a waitress in a small, local restaurant, quickly working her way up to become a manager. After the birth of her son Anthony, she opened her first successful business as a childcare provider.
Having grown up in Dutchess County, Sue developed an distinct appreciation for the uniqueness of the area and its homes. The daughter of a hardworking immigrant, Sue was taught that homeownership was a critical component of achieving the “American Dream.” Hoping to make that dream a reality for her neighbors in the community, Sue took an interest in the real estate industry. She began working in the industry in 1996 and opened her own office in the City of Poughkeepsie shortly thereafter. In 2003, she moved her office to Hyde Park to accommodate her growing team of 26 sales associates.
As a small business owner, Sue has had to deal with the harsh realities of doing business in New York. Like so many New Yorkers, she was frustrated with high taxes and bureaucratic red tape that always seemed to stand in the way of real progress. It was that frustration that drove her determination to make a difference in her local communities.
Sue was elected to the Hyde Park Town Board in 2010 and then to the Dutchess County Legislature in 2011. As a county legislator, she was a vocal advocate for hardworking taxpayers and consistently resisted efforts to raise taxes and fees at the local level. Sue firmly believes that like so many hardworking families in our communities, our government needs to learn to do more with less and needs to prioritize measures that will directly benefit our local communities.
Having spent her life in Dutchess, Sue cares deeply about ensuring our communities remain places where our young people can afford to start their lives and our seniors can afford to stay and enjoy the lives that they worked so hard to build. Residents of the 41st District should know that Sue will fight tirelessly in Albany to achieve that goal.
Re-Elect Assemblyman Kieran Lalor
Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, a former teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes in Poughkeepsie, is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel. Lalor is of counsel to the law firm Gaines, Novick, Ponzini, Cossu & Venditti in White Plans. He was elected to the Assembly in 2012 and serves as a member of the Committees on Banks; Governmental Operations; Real Property Taxation; Small Business; and Veterans’ Affairs.
His district covers parts of Dutchess County, including Beekman, Dover, East Fishkill, Fishkill, LaGrange, Pawling, Union Vale, Wappinger and Washington.
Lalor has unilaterally reduced his office budget by $100,000 by adopting the practices a small-business owner would use. For example, Lalor was given a budget to hire movers to set up his new district office. Instead, he rented a U-Haul and moved the furniture himself with the help of volunteers and staff. Lalor also cancelled the cleaning service for the district office. He and the staff take turns vacuuming and dusting the office. Lalor rejected a $9,000 per year leadership stipend and refused per diem allowances, taxpayer-funded travel expenses and a taxpayer-funded pension.
In 2013, when federal sequester cuts were set to deny our active-duty servicemen and women the funding for higher education they were promised when they enlisted, Lalor led a successful effort to pressure Congress to restore the funding. In a bipartisan effort, Lalor was able to lead the fight to provide the educational assistance promised to New Yorkers who pledged to defend this nation. Lalor sponsored Assembly Bill 6443 which reduced SUNY tuition for active-duty military personnel by the amount of funding lost by federal cuts. Lalor made two Fox News appearances on this topic. His bipartisan effort got the attention of the U.S. Congress and forced the federal government to reverse its decision to cut tuition assistance. Congressman Chris Gibson said Lalor’s state bill played a decisive role in getting military assistance restored at the federal level.
Lalor’s first bill to pass received unanimous support in the Assembly and granted an unused parcel of land at the Green Haven correctional facility to the not-for-profit Safe Haven Animal Shelter and Wildlife Center. The building of the shelter will be paid for privately and will be a valuable asset to communities in Southern Dutchess. The project benefits the community significantly but won’t cost the taxpayers anything because the property was unused and it didn’t cost the state anything to grant Safe Haven the property.
Lalor’s devotion to others is evident in his many acts of community service. While in college, he was a teacher’s assistant, helping handicapped children at Dutchess County BOCES in Salt Point. Lalor was a Social Studies teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes High School. He also ran the Boston and New York City Marathons to raise funds for a children’s hospital.
Lalor served as an infantryman in the Marine Corps Reserve. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, his unit was activated twice. Lalor was a Squad Automatic Rifleman while conducting security and stabilization operations in Nasiriyah, Iraq.
When Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, motivated by the way the country rallied behind New York on 9/11, Lalor and two other Marines took it upon themselves to drive 1,400 miles to the impacted area. For his efforts, Lalor was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. The citation reads in part:
“Corporal Lalor conducted numerous rescue missions by land and water, working from dawn until dusk. Corporal Lalor’s initiative and selfless devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.”
Lalor is a graduate of John Jay High School, Providence College and Pace Law School and lives in Hopewell Junction with his wife Mary Jo and their four young children Katie, Riley, Mikey and Kieran, Jr.
Will Truitt for NYS Assembly
Will Truitt is a lifelong resident of Hyde Park, where he is proud to call home. From his earliest days, Will has always been a people person who has enjoyed being active in the community. He attributes these qualities to the upbringing his parents provided him with; his father, Bill, a Police K-9 Sergeant, and his mother, Kathy, a stay at home mom. Growing up, Will learned three important rules:
1. Treat every person you meet with respect.
2. Nothing in life will ever be handed to you.
3. Strive to be the best at everything you do.
Will began working at Molloy Pharmacy, a local small business, at the young age of 14. His job was to put together the Sunday newspapers and serve the customers as a cashier. He performed this position throughout his high school years while also volunteering in the community through his church youth group. Upon graduating from FDR High School in 2013, Will began attending Marist College in Poughkeepsie where he also worked part-time as a mail courier and served as President of the Marist Republicans. During his time at Marist, Will made the bold decision to run for the Dutchess County Legislature. The inspiration to run at such a young age arose following his internship at County Executive Marc Molinaro’s office during his Freshman Year. Will’s intense motivation stemmed from his firm belief that we need conservative minded elected officials at all levels of government.
Due to his strong conservative values and dedication to the people, Will earned the endorsement of each the Republican and Conservative Parties, while also securing the Independence Party line after a victorious write-in campaign that earned over 60% of the vote. Despite facing a popular two-term incumbent Democrat in a left-leaning district, Will went on to win with 55% of the vote in the 2015 General Election at the age of 20. He ran a vigorous campaign where he knocked on over 5,000 of his neighbors doors to speak with them personally on the issues. During his first two years in office, Will placed his focus on strengthening core services that Dutchess County residents depend upon most, while also working closely with the County Executive to ensure the adoption of a balanced budget with property tax reductions.
In May of 2017, Will graduated with honors from Marist with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Finance while also earning minors in both Accounting and Economics. Later that year, Will went on to win re-election to the Legislature handily with 60% of the vote, and was subsequently named Chairman of the Government Services and Administration committee as well as Vice-Chairman of the Budget, Finance and Personnel committee. In 2018, Will was honored to be named a Rising Star in the New York State Republican Party. Will is a business assistant at Bridge View Excavation, Inc., and is also certified Mortgage Loan Originator.
Will is proud to announce his candidacy for the New York State Assembly, because this November, the people of our district must take a stand. As Andrew Cuomo and the Democrat-led State Assembly continue to undermine our taxpayers with failed policies and corruption scandals, thousands of our neighbors continue to move out of New York. Business owners are overburdened with regulations, homeowners and workers face rising taxes and costs, while state politicians are rewarded with gifts and donations from special interest groups. This November, it is imperative that we send a message loud and clear to Albany: no more.
Right here at home in Columbia and Dutchess County, we have the distinct opportunity to light the torch and lead this movement forward. Living in the 106th Assembly District, we have lacked true, faithful representation and leadership in Albany for many years. Together, we will win this Assembly seat back for the people who call Columbia and Dutchess home.
Re-Elect Congressman John Faso
My parents were products of the depression, coming of age when families often faced catastrophic economic struggles. Those early experiences never left them and the value of hard work and the importance of family left a real impression on me and my brothers and sisters. Until we were older, my mother stayed home raising us and running the household. My dad had a TV repair and tool rental shop and after he closed the business he worked as the custodian at our local Catholic parish and grammar school.
My father was an electrician, so to earn extra money on his day off, he’d install air conditioners directly into the wall of people’s homes. I’d help with the wiring, framing and wall repair. It was hard work, but it made a difference for our family – a little extra money could go a long way.
My mother instilled in me that education was a way to a better future. After graduating SUNY Brockport, I went on to earn a law degree at Georgetown University – working full-time and going to school at night. My time at Georgetown was a turning point for me – besides earning my degree, I also met my wife, Mary Frances.
We’ve been married for nearly 35 years, making our home in Kinderhook. For almost 20 years, she’s has been the nurse at our local public high school. We’ve also been active participants in our community. Mary Fran served for many years on the board of the Capital Region Red Cross. I’ve participated in local service organizations, including the fundraising foundation for our local hospital in Hudson. I’ve also spent many years as a lector at our parish.
Continuing my state public service, I served three years as a member of the control board working to fix the financial and managerial issues with the City of Buffalo and the Buffalo City School District. Nationally, I served for seven years as a Presidential appointee to the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation which provides important training for high school history teachers across the nation. I also formerly served as a board member at the Rockefeller Institute of Government.
Mary Frances and I chose Kinderhook and the 19th Congressional District to make our home because it was special. We’ve been blessed, with both our kids through college and post-graduate education and striking out on their own. But like many parents these days we worry about what the future may hold for them and their generation. A lot of us are left wondering if our children will have the same chances we did to live here in Upstate New York, start a career and raise a family of their own.
I want to work to change that.
Many of you know me from my previous service in elected office and my run for Governor of New York in 2006. While I didn’t win that election, I raised significant issues – some of which like the property tax cap I proposed – have since been enacted into law. I’ve always had a desire to serve, motivated to help people and solve problems. Since leaving public service after 2006, I’ve continued to advocate for issues and causes I’ve always believed in such as an improved private sector economy and better educational opportunities for all of our children.
While serving in office I developed a reputation as “tight-fisted” (while Mary Frances politely refers to it as being frugal). I don’t apologize for reading through budget bills while in the state Assembly – calling out and drawing attention to wasteful spending and fiscal gimmicks. I’ll do the same in Congress if you send me to Washington. In Albany I’m proud to have developed and pushed proposals that lead to real balanced budgets, including the first reduction in state spending in decades while closing a $5 billion deficit. I’m not ashamed to be called a fiscal conservative or, tight-fisted! After all, I learned the value of a dollar from my Mom and Dad.
From shepherding the proposal that created charter schools in New York, to helping to establish the STAR program, and fighting against financial gimmicks in Albany, I feel that I’ve been able to make a difference for families and taxpayers across New York State.
Elections are about the future and I want to use all my experiences – from being a husband and father, to serving in the state Assembly and everything in between – to try to make a difference for the people of our congressional district. I’ve lived here and served here; now I’m hoping to earn your support to be that voice in Washington for you and your family.
From my experience, I know that one party or one person doesn’t have all the answers to the issues facing our nation. But, I know with principled and dedicated leadership we have the capacity to fix our problems and leave a better future for our children and grandchildren. I would be honored to have you join me in this effort.
James D. O’Donnell for Congress
James D. O’Donnell was born and raised in the Bronx and moved to Orange County in 1975.
He currently serves on the Orange County Legislature, representing the 21st District. Elected in 2016 in a special election and re-elected in 2017 to a full 4-year term, he serves on the Ways and Means Committee, the Health and Mental Health Committee and the Education and Economic Development Committee. He has also been a tireless advocate for women and children who are victims of violence. Jim continues to stay actively involved in the community by serving on the following boards:
- Vice Chair of the Newburgh Armory Unity Center
- President of the Goshen Rotary
- Board member of the Kaplan Family Foundation
Jim began a distinguished law enforcement career in 1974 as a New York State Trooper, advancing through the ranks to serve as Captain in charge of the statewide Violent Felony Warrant Squad, then Major in charge of all State Police operations in New York City. In 1993, he returned to Orange County as Troop Commander of Troop F in Middletown. In 1995, he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel in charge of all Uniform Trooper patrol operations.
Throughout his career, Jim has been recognized frequently for his outstanding service. He instituted the Troop F DARE program, as well as the “Trooper on Patrol” program. He also established the annual statewide community day in each Troop, along with the annual “Member” and “Civilian of the Year” awards programs.
Upon retiring from the New York State Police in 1997 he returned to his roots at Gaelic Park, Bronx, New York where he oversaw major renovations in 1998.
In February of 1999 Governor George Pataki appointed Jim Chief of Police of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department. In his role as Chief, he initiated an aggressive reengineering of the former Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad Police Departments into the new MTA Police Department.
To ensure protection of MTA facilities and infrastructure against the threat of terrorism, Chief O’Donnell improved planning for emergency preparedness. Chief O’Donnell secured assignment of his Deputy Chief to the International Association of Chiefs of Police Terrorism Committee, and that of a Detective to the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorist Task Force. Both of these assignments proved critical after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. Chief O’Donnell oversaw the MTA’s evacuation of New York City on that day, and the police response during the months following the attack.
Orange County Government
Jim joined the Orange County government in 2004 to serve as the Director of Operations for the Office of the County Executive. In 2005, Orange County Executive Edward Diana nominated Director O’Donnell to the position of Deputy County Executive, and was confirmed by the Orange County Legislature. Mr. O’Donnell served the citizens of Orange County in this capacity until 2013.
Deputy County Executive O’Donnell oversaw economic development for Orange County. He served as Executive Director of the Foreign Trade Zone as well as Executive Director of the Orange County Industrial Development Agency, where he created and retained thousands of jobs.
Deputy County Executive O’Donnell instituted a Lean Six Sigma Program, saving the County over $2 million to date. He instituted management training for senior management positions in the County., and managed the daily operations and activities of 35 county departments and divisions. He created the “Team Orange” identity for our 3000 employees who work hard daily for our over 375,000 citizens. He put his law enforcement background to work during the Emergency Operations of Hurricanes Lee and Irene and Superstorm Sandy.
Jim graduated from Tolentine High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dominican College. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, and has attended the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, as well as graduate-level study at the University of Alabama.
Jim is a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 1, Orange County, and enjoys a proud Irish heritage. He is the son of John Kerry and Helen O’Donnell. His father served in 1970 as the Grand Marshal to the New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. John Kerry and Helen O’Donnell were the proprietors of Gaelic Park for over 60 years.
Jim is a member of the Knights of Columbus in St. John’s Church in Goshen. He has been married to his lovely wife Margaret for 44 years. They have eight children: Christy, Joanne, Jamie, Maggie, Michael, Molly, Ellen, and John Kerry. They also have seven grandchildren: Hudson, Luke, James, Cailyn, Keira, Maya and Grady.
Karen Hagstrom for Family Court Judge
Karen has practiced law in Dutchess County for 23 years. Karen is the only candidate for Dutchess County Family Court Judge who has prosecuted child abuse and neglect cases in Dutchess County Family Court as a Senior Assistant County Attorney, advocating on behalf of and protecting our local children.
Karen is also the only candidate for Dutchess County Family Court Judge who has prosecuted criminal cases, and all criminal cases involving our youth, up to age 16, are heard in Family Court. With the recently enacted “Raise the Age” legislation, most of the criminal cases involving 16 and 17-year-olds will be heard in Family Court for the first time, as of October 1, 2019.
As a Senior Assistant District Attorney for Dutchess County, Karen prosecuted all types of criminal cases, and spent many years in the Special Victims Unit, prosecuting domestic violence and child abuse cases. Karen worked hand in hand with Child Protective Services, the police, and victim advocates to hold offenders accountable while treating domestic violence and child victims with compassion. Because Dutchess County’s domestic violence program was looked to as a progressive example, Karen lectured at several conferences in New York State about domestic violence.
After 9 years as a prosecutor, Karen has spent the last 14 years in private practice with the Poughkeepsie law firm of Corbally, Gartland and Rappleyea, LLP. A Partner at the firm, Karen represents clients in Family Court relative to family offenses, which are domestic violence related crimes, child custody petitions, and criminal cases. Adding to the extensive trial and negotiation skills she gained as a prosecutor, Karen’s experience in private practice makes her uniquely qualified to understand all the roles and perspectives in the courtroom.
Karen grew up in the Town of Poughkeepsie and now resides in Red Hook with her husband, Matt Weishaupt, a Chief Assistant District Attorney for Dutchess County, and their two children, Jonathon, age 12, and Courtney, age 10. Karen is also the proud step-mother of Tatum, age 30, and Matthew, age 25.
Karen previously served on the Judicial Screening Committee for the Dutchess County Bar Association and as a Board Member for the Mid-Hudson Women’s Bar Association. Karen currently serves on the Dutchess County Supreme Court Excellence Initiative Committee, which seeks to improve the court system.
Judge Michael Hayes for Surrogate’s Court Judge
Judge Michael Hayes has been practicing law in Dutchess County for over 20 years, and over the course of his career has acted as a prosecutor, private attorney, law clerk and now judge. He has built a breadth and depth of experience found nowhere else in the race for Surrogate’s Court Judge.
Judge Hayes is the only candidate for Surrogate’s Court Judge to be rated “Highly Qualified” by the Independent Judicial Candidate Qualification Commission and the Dutchess County Bar Association: the highest possible rating for each organization. The respect across the ideological spectrum that Judge Hayes has earned is reflected by the fact that six different political parties have nominated him as their candidate for Surrogate’s Court Judge, including the Republican Party.
Judge Hayes grew up in Dutchess, and he and his wife have put down roots of their own here, raising a family in Dutchess and sending their children to Dutchess schools. He has also spent the bulk of his career here, and is currently a local public servant.
As LaGrange Town Judge, he was endorsed by multiple political parties in recognition of his reputation as a fair and independent judge. As a law clerk, he has spent seven years researching and crafting opinions for the Dutchess County Surrogate’s, Supreme and County Courts. Judge Hayes spent many years in private practice in Dutchess, as a litigator and municipal attorney. In his early career he earned a coveted position as a prosecutor in the trial division of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, one of the top D.A.’s offices in the nation, where he garnered extensive grand jury and trial experience.
In 2008, Judge Hayes was recognized as a private attorney by Super Lawyers Magazine as one of the top litigators in upstate New York.
In his years as a law clerk and Town Judge, Judge Hayes’s decisions have been singled out for distinction at a rate 11 times the statewide average.
Judge Hayes graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Poughkeepsie. He graduated magna cum laude from Iona College with a degree in Economics, where he maintained a Merit Scholarship, was inducted into Delta Epsilon Sigma National Honor Society, and was President of the Tara Knights Society, and organization dedicated to community service. He went on to attend Albany Law School, Union College, where he graduated cum laude on a Merit Scholarship, served as Director of the Moot Court Board and was inducted into the Justinian Honor Society.
Judge Michael Hayes was raised the eldest of six in Dutchess County by Hon. Gerald V. Hayes, Dutchess County Court Judge (Ret.), and Sheila Hayes. He is married to Michele Schwegel Hayes, an experienced appellate lawyer in her own right; they have two daughters, Maggie (13) and Sally (11).
Professional and community affiliations include:
Admitted, New York State Bar
Admitted, United States District Court for the Southern, Eastern, and Northern Districts of New York
Member, New York State Magistrates Association
Member, Dutchess County Magistrates Association
Member, Dutchess County Bar Association
Former Chair, Young Lawyers Committee
Member, Manhattan District Attorneys’ Association
Judge, Dutchess County High School Mock Trial Competition
Panelist, Dutchess Community College Criminal Justice Program
Instructor, CSEA Court Clerk/Senior Court Clerk Exam Preparation
Lecturer, Marist Center for Lifetime Study
Speaker, Continuing Legal Education
Member, Dutchess Day School Board of Trustees
Member, Executive Committee
Member, Audit Committee
Member, Head of School Search Committee
Member, Rotary Club of LaGrange-Sunrise