POUGHKEEPSIE – On night of January 4, 2023, during the reorganizational meeting of the Dutchess County Legislature, Democratic lawmakers nominated their longest serving caucus member, Legislator Craig Brendli (District 8- City and Town of Poughkeepsie), while the Republican caucus nominated Legislator and current Chairman Gregg Pulver (District 19- North East, Milan, Pine Plains) to serve as Chairman of the Legislature for 2023.
Minority Leader Yvette Valdés Smith said, “Legislator Brendli is a true public servant. He is a fair and honest leader who works well with both sides of the aisle to build consensus and strongly shares our Democratic values and priorities. It was an honor to nominate him and I am proud to work with him.”
“Our Democratic caucus will not sit idly by while the Republican supermajority of this legislative body continues to rubberstamp legislation to further their own agenda. Legislator Brendli would have led the Legislature in a way that would ensure Dutchess County’s progress and future success. But seeing that those in the supermajority approved a last minute $25 million dollar amendment to the County’s budget for a stadium while our people have urgent needs- we are disappointed but not surprised by tonight’s outcome. Our Democratic caucus will continue to fight and work hard so that our residents needs are met and so that all Dutchess County residents have fair and equal representation,” added Valdés Smith.
Legislator Craig Brendli stated, “It was as much of an honor as it was humbling to have the nomination of our Democratic Caucus for Chairman of the Legislature. I was greatly appreciative of their support and confidence in my ability to lead our body in 2023.
“I also am honored to be the first openly gay member nominated for such a prestigious honor at a time when our rights are under assault across our Country.
“Being a member of the minority party, I did not have the votes tonight. However, this serves as a reminder that historic and transformative leadership is possible with strong Democratic support in our local elections this November.”
The vote for Dutchess County Legislature Chairman was a straight party-line vote with 16 Republicans voting for Pulver and 5 Democrats for Brendli. Four legislators were absent from the vote.