The list of Republican challengers for Aileen Gunther's state Assembly seat doubled Thursday when Mamakating Supervisor Harold Baird announced his intention to run.Baird is a bit of a cipher. But he did run on the Independence line this past election year, picking up 96 votes (use the drop-down menus to see the results), so there's no doubt that all of this is occurring with the blessings of Independence Party Central Committee Member Chapman.
Baird exited Mamakating Town Hall at noon to read a brief statement outlining his reasons for seeking the 98th District seat. The district includes all of Sullivan County and parts of Orange.
"I just think we need a voice up in Albany for this area," he said afterward. "The city, they have a stronghold on what goes on in New York."
Baird joins Bloomingburg resident Gary Linton in announcing a run for a seat Gunther has held since 2003. That year she defeated current county Legislator Alan Sorensen in a special election following the death of her husband, Jake Gunther, who'd held the seat.
My guess is that Baird will be clobbered in the primary. But he's the perfect empty suit if his handlers can figure out a way to make him presentable enough for prime time.
Baird won reelection by a whopping eight votes, by the way. How's that for a mandate to run for higher office?