Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A long way to go

I can't recall anything quite like the quicky candidacies of Democrats Sue Zimet and Mike Berardi and Republican Glenn Noonan for Ulster County executive.

With some fanfare, all three stuck their toes in the water just long enough to decide conditions were too cold. In and out.

Odd. Judging by how long they hung around, they couldn't have had much passion for the job in the first place, which makes you wonder why they went through the exercise of entering the race.

Democrat Mike Hein, on the other hand, plunged in head first many, many months ago and was rewarded with his party's nomination. He'll face Republican nominee Leonard Bernardo, an Accord businessman. In fact, Hein's been running so long (counting the time prior to his official announcement when he was lining up his ducks), he makes marathon presidential Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton look like shirkers.

His relative name recognition compared to Bernardo notwithstanding, Hein still has a lot of introducing to do around the county. Given startling national surveys that show how many citizens can't ID high-ranking public officials, odds are good the average county resident wouldn't be able to pick the incumbent county administrator out of a lineup.

Hein, Bernardo and others running for office this cycle likely will hit plenty of pancake breakfasts, chicken dinners and farmers' markets over the summer. But it says here the public won't really start paying attention until after Labor Day, maybe not even until right around Halloween. Put another way, pace yourselves.
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