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Kingston Dems open new headquarters

New headquarters in the center of the city

KINGSTON – The center of gravity shifted to Midtown for Kingston city Democrats on Thursday, when local party officials held a grand opening celebration at their new office at the corner of Cedar Street and Broadway.

Kingston Democratic City Committee Chairman Joe Donaldson was joined by candidates and supporters, to show off the new party headquarters, which moved from the old Uptown location on John Street, which for years was shared space with the county party organization.

“This headquarters is all about the candidates; we want them to come here and work out of here, utilize it as a tool and resource for them,” Donaldson said, noting it could also be used for meetings, phone banks, and event organizing. “Whatever you want to do, it’s your office, so please use it.”

Among those invited were Kingston Mayor Steven Noble, Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach, several congressional candidates and judicial hopeful Julian Schreibman. County legislators and alderman candidates also attended.

Cahill said he found the new office location both practical and nostalgic, having passed by it frequently as a child delivering newspapers. “In 1998 I staged my comeback from this room,” Cahill said of the triangular space. “This place is about as central to Kingston as you can get,” adding that Broadway always boasted more storefronts than the Hudson Valley Mall in nearby Ulster.

Mayor Noble agreed, saying Broadway has changed for the better in the last year-and-a-half.

“If you walk on onto Broadway today you feel community, a true sense that people out on the street feel like they belong in Kingston, and that wasn’t always the case. They feel like they are home,” Noble said. “They are not looking to go to Poughkeepsie or Newburgh or Woodstock. They are looking to stay right here.”

Auerbach spoke at length about the importance of re-electing Democrats during the off-off-election cycle, especially town supervisor and county legislative candidates. He singled out Kingston County Legislators David Donaldson and Jennifer Schwartz-Berky as especially deserving, with kudos to Lynn Eckert, who was absent. Her primary rival, incumbent minority whip Peter Loughran, was present for Thursday’s affair.

Notably absent was 4th Ward Alderman candidate Rita Worthington, unopposed, in whose district the new headquarters is located. William Carey, city council majority leader, also did not appear, nor did Andrea Shaut, 9th Ward challenger. County Democratic Chairman Frank Cardinale similarly missed the event.

Only four of the seven current Democratic congressional candidates showed up, hoping to unseat 19th District Republican Congressman John Faso in 2018. They were Gareth Rhodes, Patrick Ryan, Brian Flynn, and Jeff Beals.