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Tommy Zurhellen

Veteran for County Executive

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Why I'm Running

When I walked across America in 2019 to raise awareness on the challenges facing our veterans, it was a walk born out of frustration. Four years later in 2023, I feel that same frustration again, and I know so many of my neighbors in Dutchess County are feeling it, too. We're frustrated that our seniors and working families are feeling the impact of the housing crisis, and yet, our county government doesn't seem prepared to help. We're frustrated that so many of our school kids don't get enough to eat, and when they graduate, our youth can't find careers they love, here at home. Veterans and their families are feeling frustrated, too; every day I hear how they find it so difficult to connect to the services they have earned by defending our nation.


We've all heard a lot of talk about proposed solutions for this and that, year after year, but that talk never goes anywhere.


Well, the time for talk is over. I believe Dutchess County needs a leader who will walk the walk and deliver on the promise of helping people not just survive, but thrive, in our community. As a petty officer in the Navy, as a professor and administrator in higher education for over 20 years, and as a veteran advocate who works every single day to help our heroes, I know I have the leadership experience to get the job done.


When you spend over 20 years as a teacher like I have, you learn the secret about leadership. You learn leadership isn't talking, or telling folks what to do. No, true leadership is listening. It's helping the people around you to reach their full potential. And that means making sure everyone has the chance to use their voice to make our home a better place to live. So many communities here in Dutchess County tell me they feel voiceless, and helpless, because it seems no one will listen.


The truth is, diversity makes Dutchess a wonderful place to live. As Dutchess County Executive, I pledge to ensure everyone in our community -- especially those who have been disenfranchised -- has a seat at the table. I'm excited to bring all our neighbors together in 2023. I hope you will share that energy and make a plan to vote in November!

Voting in Election
Commander Tom Big Announcement101.5 WPDH
00:00 / 07:40

Be sure to tune in to WPDH 101.5 FM every Wednesday morning at 8:45am for the Commander Tom veterans' report.

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