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  • Writer's pictureTommy Zurhellen

A Beautiful Day

Monday, November 10th

Dear Friends: It’s been a few days since election results came in on Tuesday, but people are still coming up to me – at the grocery store, at the gym, on the sidewalk – to tell me how sorry they feel for me since I lost my race for County Executive. But they’re surprised when I tell them I’m not sorry at all. Actually, I’m super excited! I might have lost my race, but overall Democrats won big in Dutchess. Together, we have such a bright future ahead. Listen, Democracy is a team sport. And overall, Democrats earned an amazing victory on Tuesday. We elected the first Black woman as Mayor of Poughkeepsie. We eliminated the Republican supermajority in the Dutchess County Legislature by gaining three seats. This is such an important victory because now Republicans can no longer simply pass legislation behind closed doors. I know my friend Yvette Valdés Smith, who resoundingly won her re-election, is prepared to press this new advantage as Minority Leader and finally hold county leaders accountable. Go, Yvette! Anthony Parisi will be the first Democrat to serve as our District Attorney since the Roman Empire, I think. Talk about a game-changer! I can’t wait to see how he’s going to bring fairness and safety to all of Dutchess, starting on day one. Anthony and his wife Sinead ran an amazing campaign, even with his desperate opponent using every dirty trick in the book. I know, because I was alongside them almost every day and saw it first-hand. Wait, there’s more! We also turned the Town of Poughkeepsie blue, overnight. I know Supervisor Rebecca Edwards and the new 4-3 Democrat majority on the Town Board are eager to get things done in their hometown. Stanford Dems enjoyed the same victory in their neck of the woods, with our friends Wendy, Eric, and Disco ready to work for everyone in the north country. Friends, how about Chris Drago, defeating the incumbent with a message of positivity and hope? Well done. And can we be more stoked for the mighty Mary Beth winning in Pleasant Valley? When all of these wonderful folks raise their right hand in January to start their next journey, it will certainly be a beautiful day for all of us. I can’t wait to be there and celebrate with them. And let’s not forget that over in Ohio, Democrats had a landmark win by adding abortion rights to the state Constitution. Sorry? No way. We have plenty to celebrate! When I look closely at the poll results, I see a great future ahead. Even in the races we lost, we didn’t lose by much. That’s a testament to the hard work of all our candidates this year and their supporters. No one gave up. Everyone worked to the last bell. The work we did this year makes 2024 look so much better when our heroes Pat Ryan and Michelle Hinchey will be fighting for every vote. And I’m proud to be a part of that. As for my race for County Executive, we accomplished so much by raising awareness on issues like food insecurity, affordable housing, and the homelessness crisis. We were outspent by our opponent by a 12 to 1 margin, and yet we still managed to earn 44% of the vote. Wow! That doesn’t happen without a ton of hard work, passion, and creativity. Nobody likes to lose, of course, but I know we did the best we could with the resources available to us. Perhaps my favorite outcome from this campaign is the fact that someone reading this right now might be thinking, I could do that. I could run for local office and champion the causes I’m passionate about in my community. Maybe that someone is you! I hope my campaign inspires other folks to get involved and pursue a life of service. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how much money you have. All that matters is if you have a good heart and a motor inside you that pushes you to help others. If that is you, I think you should start now. Yes, start now! Contact your local Democratic committee and tell them you want to serve your community by running for office next year. I can tell you it’s hard work, but I can also tell you it will never be boring. Speaking of service, I would like to wish all the veterans in your life a very Happy Veterans Day this Saturday. Let’s thank all our heroes this weekend. After all, they certainly earned it! Thank you for following our campaign for the last ten months and reading along each week. Again, I’m so proud of what we accomplished on Tuesday, together. It was truly a beautiful day for Dutchess County. I look forward to sharing many more beautiful days with you. Respectfully, Tommy


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