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  • Writer's pictureTommy Zurhellen

Hometown Heroes

Monday, July 10th

Dear Friends:

The rain may have been coming down in buckets across the Hudson Valley this weekend, but the storms didn’t dampen our spirits one bit in Union Vale! On Sunday I joined my fellow countywide candidates Anthony Parisi and Kenya Gadsden at the home of Heidi and Mike Tucci to share our message of hope and inclusion with their neighbors. As I engaged in conversation with the dozens of intrepid folks who came out despite the weather, I couldn’t help but think to myself, thank goodness for people like Mike and Heidi! How else would we be able to meet so many folks in one community who were hungry for change? It would be close to impossible. As usual, my teammate Kenya said it best. “We can’t do this without you,” she said to all the folks assembled inside the Tucci home. “You lift us up!”

I couldn’t agree more, Kenya. Yes, our names may be on the ballot, but make no mistake, it’s going to be the unstoppable energy and dedication of hometown heroes like Mike and Heidi that will get us across that finish line in November.

Don’t get me wrong, having great candidates on the ballot is important. After all, voters need candidates they can rally around! They want candidates they can trust who fully understand the issues. But you know what is just as important? Having hometown heroes just like Mike and Heidi who do the real work of connecting their neighbors with those candidates. Without that work, unless you have a magic wand, you’re not going very far.

I think you can win an election with a ho-hum candidate. But you certainly can’t win an election without people who energize their community and get their neighbors excited and informed! I like to call those people the hometown heroes. If you think about it, these folks are the lightning rods for their community. They serve as the focal point for all the incredible energy, love, empathy, and zeal it takes to win an election. Ka-Zang! It’s often a thankless job, but they don’t do it for the glory. No, they do it because they want to be part of bringing real change to their hometown. They do it because they want to hand over a better world to their kids, and their neighbor’s kids, too.

Luckily for us, this year we have amazing candidates on the ballot like Kenya and Anthony and we also have amazing heroes like Mike and Heidi holding it down in communities across the county. That’s a winning combination that’s tough to beat!

On the ballot this November, there’s going to be a big D next to my name in the race for County Executive. That D normally stands for Democrat, of course, but this year I think it also stands for Decency. I don’t care if you’re registered as a Democrat or Republican – isn’t this the year everyone in Dutchess County should vote for common Decency? I mean, does anyone want to live in a county that stuffs its homeless folks into an old jail? Does anyone want county leaders who instantly declare a “state of emergency” even before 80 migrant workers move temporarily into a motel? And does anyone feel good about giving away $25 million of their money to improve someone else’s baseball stadium?

Nobody does, of course. And yet, many people still don’t know what’s truly at stake in this election. They need to know it’s a clear decision between kindness and fear. It’s a choice between 32 years of the same, out-of-touch politics or fresh ideas and common sense solutions. We need hometown heroes just like you to talk with every voter in your community and let them know how much is at stake.

Do you have what it takes to be a hometown hero in your community? We need folks to step up and be that lightning rod in wonderful towns across the county like Pawling, Amenia, Millerton, Hyde Park, and Clinton. We need your energy and enthusiasm, and we need it now! With less than four months left to go before Election Day, now is the time to join this fight to bring common sense solutions, fairness, and equity to everyone who lives in Dutchess County.

What does it take to be a hometown hero? No cape is required! It’s actually very easy to get involved, just contact your local Democratic Committee, or you can simply email us here at and we will connect you as soon as possible. You can organize a house party or barbecue at your home for candidates, or you can bring your talents and energy to any of our Team Tommy events listed on our monthly tour calendar, available on social media. And with our first campaign filing deadline coming up this Thursday, making a crucial donation in any amount will make a huge difference. If you haven’t donated yet, please do so by Thursday. Don’t wait! Just click on the secure Act Blue link below!

Speaking of heroes, before I sign off I’d like to send out a huge thank you to all our first responders, DOT workers, and line crews across the Hudson Valley for your efforts to keep us safe during the storms this weekend.

Thank you to all our hometown heroes out there like Mike and Heidi for all you do to spread our message of hope and inclusion across our county. And thank you, for listening! See you next time!

Respectfully, Tommy


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