Who knew that s’mores and politics could be such a tasteful combination?
On Friday, Oct. 25, the New Paltz Democratic Women, New Paltz Deputy Mayor KT Tobin and Congressman Antonio Delgado hosted a bonfire fundraiser for the Ulster County Comptroller candidate March Gallagher.
Supporting families and their children mingled by the fire, feasted on hamburgers and hot dogs and indulged in hot cider at Kalleco Nursery in Tilson. Also in attendance were notable names of Ulster County government like County Executive Pat Ryan and New Paltz Town Supervisor Neil Bettez.
Throughout the night, Gallagher received glowing accolades and support from her colleagues and endorsers.
“When you come across an individual who is in it for the right reasons, who is ready to help serve and put the community first, you can’t take that for granted,” Delgado said. “You need to make that position filled with somebody who actually can do it and do it well, and we have that right now. We have the opportunity to do this, and I’m proud to support and endorse March Gallagher.”
Gallagher testified that, if elected, her priorities as comptroller will be “smart auditing, sharing data and explaining county issues.”
“One thing we don’t do is that we don’t provide good transparency on the data. We should be releasing information on a more timely basis, at least monthly,” Gallagher said. “It should be a comma-separated values (CSV) file or something that is editable and analyzable [so people are] able to sort the data, see what vendors are paid, sort by the size of the contract and see if a vendor is being paid multiple times.”
When Gallagher was working as an attorney back in 2004, a client, who was a contractor for the Ulster County jail, informed her about how badly the jail was going to go over budget.
“That really inspired me to get involved in county government. From that point, I campaigned to get county comptroller office and county executive office created because we did not have either at the time,” Gallagher recalled.
In 2006, Gallagher became the first-ever chairwoman of the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency. In 2013, she joined Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress as its chief strategy officer, and was later recognized as a Hudson Valley Women in Business Awardee.
“I couldn’t imagine a better candidate than March Gallagher. I know her integrity runs very deep and everything she does is for the community and to make the world a better place,” Tobin said. “I feel like everything that she has done up to now has prepared her to be a really excellent comptroller…it seemed natural that she would step up and do this.”
But most recently, Gallagher has been working in philanthropy. She became president of Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, which awards over $3 million annually in grants to non-profit organizations and students. This is where she “really felt a pull to return to public service.”
“As a comptroller in Ulster County, you need to view things through a more progressive lens and that’s what March demonstrated right away,” said Manager of New Paltz Democratic Women Alexandria Wojcik. “We still stand by our gut beliefs that she is the one who can bring that more progressive lens to the comptroller’s office.”
Early voting is now available in New York. From Oct. 26 to Nov. 3, one can cast their vote in polling sites located in Woodstock, Kingston, New Paltz, among others.