Candidates for elected office who have been endorsed
by the City of Kingston Democratic Committee
for the 2019 General Election
City of Kingston Common Council
Ward 1) Jeffrey Morell
Jeffrey Ventura Morell was born in the Dominican Republic, his mother immigrated to the US when he was a toddler and he was raised by his grandparents. Later he moved to New York City, became a US citizen and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from CUNY Hunter College.
He settled in Kingston after falling in love with its diverse and welcoming community, as well as it’s rich history and natural beauty. He lives on Main St. with his spouse Lyndel, a former Peace Corps volunteer who currently works in the non for profit sector.
Jeffrey brings with him over 15 years of experience in business management. He is a strong advocate for equality, the arts and helping those in need. He cites his grandfather, a former police officer, as the most important figure in his life, who taught him the value of hard work, discipline, honesty and community service.
He is completing is first term as Alderman of Kingston’s First Ward.
Ward 2) Douglas Koop
- Ward 2 Kingston resident for 25 years (@149 Main St.)
- Married to Constance Rudd (“First Lady of the Second Ward”)
- Graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (BS) and Lehigh University (PhD)
- Four children, all graduates of SUNY Ulster; one from SUNY Geneseo, one from SUNY Plattsburgh)
- Four grandchildren
- Chair of Finance & Audit Committee
- Member of Community Development Committee (awarder of CDBG’s)
- Voted to approve the Sales Tax Agreement with Ulster County
- Voted to oppose the shooting range in mid-town Kingston
- Voted to save the historic Booth House
- Member of Mayor’s Parking Advisory Committee
- Council Liaison to KUBA and Pike Plan
- Adjunct Lecturer in Physics (12 years) at SUNY-New Paltz
- Treasurer of New Paltz Chapter of United University Professions (UUP)
- Faculty member for Bard College Prison Initiative
- Former General Manager of Ferroxcube in Saugerties
- Former President and CEO of the Hudson Valley Technology Development Center, Inc.
- Former Executive Director of Hudson Valley Regional Council
- Former Board Member, YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County (three terms)
- Former Board Member, Ulster County Development Corp. (three terms)
- Former Board Member, Hudson Valley Pattern (two terms)
Ward 3) Rennie Scott-Childress
Reynolds “Rennie” Scott-Childress is the Alderman for Ward 3 in the City of Kingston. He is the current Majority Leader of the Common Council. He has long been involved in civic activities from coaching youth soccer to rail-trail cleanups to teaching disadvantaged students. He served on the Kingston Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee from its inception. As an Alderman, he sits on the Finance, Public Safety, and Laws and Rules Committees. Since taking his seat on the Common Council in April 2016, Scott-Childress has worked to reduce tax rates for both home- and business owners, expand community development, build bridges of trust, increase awareness of and appreciation for the many projects and services the City of Kingston provides for its residents. He has been a professor of history at SUNY New Paltz since 2005.
Ward 4) Rita Worthington
Rita M. Worthington has resided in the City of Kingston for more than 30 years. She is married to Rev. Paul D. Worthington and they have a blended family of 7 children. Rita is a Family Law paralegal and currently serves as a Commissioner on the Kingston City Police Department as well as Moderator of the Community Policing forums. She formally served on the Board of Directors for the Kingston City Library, Ulster County Mental Health Association and Save Them Now, a re-entry program for returning citizens from incarceration. Rita is a licensed minister at the New Progressive Baptist Church where she also serves as the Chairperson of the Trustee Board. She believes laughter is the secret to a healthy and prosperous life and is committed to working and serving the citizens of Kingston.
To Be Announced!
Ward 6) Tony Davis
Tony is currently serving his first term as Alderman in Ward 6 and is a member of the Finance Committee and Public Safety/General Government Committee.
As a member of the Finance Committee and working with the Mayor, department leaders and the Common Council, Tony was able to pass a budget that reduced the tax rate for both homestead and non-homestead owners. Kingston was also able to generate its highest fund balance in City history during his first term.
As a member of the Public Safety committee, Tony continues to strive to make the City a safe and beautiful place to live.
He continues to work hard to enhance city services, improve the City’s infrastructure, and increase economic development opportunities which will allow the City of Kingston to be the best community possible.
Tony has and continues to be readily available to his constituents by holding community meetings and returning hundreds of calls in a timely manner.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management Degree from Springfield College and a Master of Science Education from the University of New England. Tony is currently an 8th grade Social Studies teacher in the Kingston School District.
He has been married to his wife Ginger (Kithcart) Davis for 26 years. They have one daughter, Jenifer Davis, who recently graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s College.
Ward 8) Steven Schabot
Steve is in his third term as Alderman of the 8th Ward and is a lifelong resident of the Rondout area. He has a 45+ year work history, including 32 years with the Ulster County Department of Social Services, retiring as the Director of Resource Recovery where he administered 5 departments. Following that he worked 10 years as a Marketing Manager for Hudson Health Plan. Steve has been an active volunteer in the community for over 40 years and has logged thousands of hours of service. Included in that is 20+ years serving on the Kingston Parks and Recreation Commission where he sat as Chair as well as serving on the Heritage Area Commission. His goal has always been to improve the quality of life in our area and one of his areas of focus has been the improvement of the Waterfront area, working with City Administration and others to replace bulkheads, identify Brownfields and speak with developers to generate a renewed interest in this historical area of the city. He also served on the Kingston Waterfront Flooding Task Force, developing ideas to combat the rising water levels that threaten the areas adjacent to the Rondout Creek. Since becoming a member of the Common Council he has served as the Chair of the Public Safety Committee and has sat on the Finance Committee and Laws and Rules Committee. Steve also attends many Planning Board meeting to keep abreast of issues that affect his ward and the city. As a member of the Finance Committee working with department heads the Council was able to pass a budget with a 0% tax increase and currently has a fund balance which is the largest in City history. They were also able to enact legislation allowing the City to auction vacant properties, generating revenue while at the same time eliminating the cost of demolition. These measures thereby preserved our cities structures, returned properties to the tax rolls and brought new residents to the city.
Steve is readily available to both his constituents and department heads and has fielded hundreds of calls in a timely manner. He continues to be an advocate for the youth of Kingston and still volunteers many hours for our future leaders. As a “hands-on” volunteer he spends many hours monthly working on park beautification and senior and youth activities. Steve was instrumental in allowing the Kingston Point BMX to obtain a new lease agreement, allowing them to remain in Kingston.
Steve has been married for 44 years to his wife Lynn (Tucker), who is an RN presently caring for their grandchildren. Their daughter Dalienne, is a teacher at J F Kennedy School in Ward 8, and is married to David Niles and have 3 daughters, Aelan, Brook & Taylor. They also have a son Jay Schabot who is married to Stephanie Sarkies and reside in Manhattan with their infant son, Mason.
Ward 9) Michele Hirsch
Kingston resident Michele Hirsch, a Family Peer Advocate with Family of Woodstock’s Adolescent Services Program has announced she is running for Alderwoman in Kingston’s Ninth Ward. Hirsch’s announcement follows Alderwoman Andrea Shaut’s decision to run for the position of Alderwoman-at-Large.
“My reasons for running are simple,” said Hirsch. “I love Kingston, I love my neighborhood and I believe in being actively involved in my community where I work and raise my children,” said the mother of two. “A vibrant community depends on the energy its people bring to it, and it is my intention to be a strong, vocal advocate for the people of the 9th Ward.”
As a Kingston resident, Hirsch has thrown herself into the community whenever she has seen a need; from launching a successful fundraising campaign to alleviating a plumbing emergency at a local food pantry to re-launching the Kingston City School District’s Special Education Parent Group, and speaking at City Hall and school board meetings on key issues that impact the community.
Hirsch was effective at moving an unsafe middle school bus stop from the KHS bus turnaround to Andrew Street – a change that parents had been trying to make for the past 20 years.
Hirsch noted that although the job of alderwoman is to approve laws and the city budget, chief among her duties will be ensuring the people of the Ninth Ward get the city services they pay for with their taxes. “The job of alderwoman means being a watchdog for your ward, an ombudsman – and advocate. And if the streets need paving or someone’s garbage isn’t picked up, City Hall will hear from me,” she said.
In her work with families in Kingston, Hirsch sees first-hand tough issues that affect city residents every day and would like to work towards establishing more affordable, safe housing in the city so children aren’t disrupted every time a family has to move. Hirsch believes that a strong community and thriving school system will help bring economic development and jobs to the City of Kingston.
Hirsch, a Democrat, added that when she disagrees with officials in city hall or the County of Ulster – she will say so, regardless of party affiliation. “I am a Democrat, but I believe the needs of the people come first – before party interests. If I disagree with people in my party, I will have no problem sharing my views publicly, and fighting for what I believe in. I will be an advocate for the people”
To that end, Hirsch said she looks forward to going door to door talking to the people who live or do business in the 9th Ward to see what the needs are and to find out what city government can do better on their behalf.
In addition to her position at Family of Woodstock, Michele Hirsch serves on the Board of Directors for PULSES – Parents United Learning the Special Education System.
Hirsch lives with her children, Lily and Cash on Brewster Street.
Ulster County Legislative Districts in The City of Kingston
District 5) Abe Uchitelle
District 6) David Donaldson
David Donaldson is serving his twelfth term on the Ulster County Legislature. He served four years as Chairman of the Legislature and was elected Minority Leader twice. David Donaldson’s goal has been “to make a difference where a difference is needed.” His character trademark of tenacity makes him an outspoken leader representing the constituents City of Kingston’s Wards 3, 5 and 9.
He has been recognized by numerous non-partisan organizations for his tireless work to help others as well as his constant push for good government initiatives. Dave has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to work with anyone willing to be part of a progressive agenda of government reform, the right economic growth, protection of our beautiful area, effective programs for youth and the elderly, along with enhanced collaboration with the City of Kingston and Ulster County.
Dave started an initiative of “Better government at a better price” by sponsoring and ensuring reformed fiscal management of County government, sustaining budgets below inflationary rates, maintaining and improving transparency and improved services through consolidations and efficiencies.
Dave served as an Alderman in the City of Kingston prior to joining the County Legislature. As an Alderman he initiated a City Charter change as well as creating policies that helped bring about the Revitalization of the Rondout Area of Kingston. He continues to work with City Leaders, regardless of party or other affiliations, for the betterment of the City of Kingston.
Dave taught Government and Economics at FDR High School in Hyde Park for 20 years before recently retiring. Prior to teaching, Dave was a Foreman and Inspector for Conrail Railroad.
He began his college education at SUNY Ulster and went on to receive his Bachelors in Political Science and Master in History/Education from SUNY New Paltz.
Currently, Dave serves on the SUNY Ulster Presidential Search Process and Search Committee and represents the Ulster County Legislature on the Ulster County Jury Board.
Memberships & Awards
- SUNY ULSTER 2008 Alumni of the Year Award.
- Southern Poverty Law Center – Teaching Tolerance Award
- Times Herald Record Cheers Award for Good Gov’t Resolutions
- ASK Award for Promoting Diversity in the Arts & Humanities
- Member of The Ancient Order of Hibernians
- Member of Sons of the American Legion
- Elks Club Member
- League of Women Voters
To be announced!