KINGSTON, NY – After a shocked victory over a veteran Ulster County lawmaker, the Mid-Hudson Valley chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and the For the Many group have set their sites on a new political target: the member of the Kevin Cahill State Assembly.
In a joint statement released on Monday, the two groups announced their support for Sarahana Shrestha, community activist and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, as a candidate for the seat of the 103rd Assembly District.
Shrestha’s entry into the race sets the stage for a June primary between Shrestha and Cahill, D-Kingston, for the Democratic Party line in the November 2022 poll.
“The status quo in Albany is not working for Hudson Valley families,” said Jonathan Bix, executive director of For the Many (formerly Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson), announcing the group’s support for Shrestha.
Bix said that while the Democratic supermajority in Albany offers the opportunity for “transformative change” in state policies, those efforts have been stymied by incumbents more beholden to corporations and wealthy donors than the families of workers.
“This moment takes political courage, something Sarahana has shown her whole life,” Bix said.
Shrestha is the Ulster County Co-Chair for the Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and a leader of Public Power NY, a coalition of organizations focused on promoting clean, renewable, affordable and accessible power. .
Cahill, who is serving his 13th two-year term in the assembly, said Monday he was proud of his record and his representation of the district’s people.
“From drafting the Emergency Tenant Protection Act to putting New York on the path to a carbon-free future to secure tens of millions of people. [of dollars] for the necessary infrastructure, our schools and our health care, my office and I work every day to bring home results that reflect our values, ”Cahill said in a statement. “I am honored to serve and just as grateful for the overwhelming support that our residents, our constituents and, in particular, my fellow Democrats have given me.”
The Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America took credit for the thwarted election of Democrat Philip Erner to longtime incumbent Democrat David Donaldson in the race for the District 6 seat of the County Legislature Ulster, saying the organization “largely led” Erner’s campaign.
Erner first defeated Donaldson, D-Kingston, in a Democratic primary, then won a three-way general election race against Donaldson, running on a minor party line, and Republican Suzanne Timbrouck.
The 103rd Assembly District of New York includes the city of Kingston and the towns of New Paltz, Woodstock, Shandaken, Olive, Hurley, Marbletown, Rochester, Gardiner, Plattekill, Rosendale, Esopus, Ulster, Red Hook and Rhinebeck.
There are so far no other declared candidates for the seat in the 2022 election.