Democrats Running in Upcoming Elections

Tompkins County Legislature

Travis Brooks for District 1
Brooks for Legislature

With more than 30 years of living in this community, and 22 of those years devoted to serving the District 1 community, I look forward to tackling the challenges we face regarding affordable housing, living wage, access to community programs to support strong families, accessible and affordable child care, and opportunities for solid employment and growth. I have gained valuable experience in bringing diverse stakeholders to collaborate to solve the problems in my work as Deputy Director of the Greater Ithaca Activities Center, Director of My Brother's Keeper, and as member of Ithaca's Municipal Drug Policy Committee. I played a key role in securing a grant that will enable Ithaca to employ progressive solutions to the problems of crime and addiction. I pledge to focus my efforts on economic recovery (helping small businesses to rebuild), improving the quality of life for marginalized West Hill residents, building coalitions dedicated to social justice, and improving the lives of all our citizens but particularly those that have been underrepresented.

Veronica Pillar for District 2

Dr. Veronica Pillar is a teacher and community activist who supports racial and climate justice, genuinely affordable housing, public utilities, and open communication between grassroots community and local government. Vote March 13-23 in District 2!

Henry Granison for District 3

I am very pleased to represent the Belle Sherman, Bryant Park and South Hill Neighborhoods on the County Legislature. I am seeking reelection for the position and my top priorities are increasing affordable housing, raising wages to a living wage and helping with the reimagining public safety.

Rich John for District 4

I am running for re-election to the Fourth District to continue representing the people living in ithaca on the Commons, the south end of Fall Creek, East Hill, Collegetown, and part of the Cornell University West Campus area. I am proud to help do some of the work of local government and I think there will be much to do in the next term, particularly in pandemic recovery, police reform and economic growth. Please reach out if you have questions or want to talk.

Anne Koreman for District 5

During the next four years, I pledge to diligently assist our community in recovering from the effects of the pandemic including the mental and physical health of our residents, job retention and retraining (including green jobs), housing, and support for our many small business. I will continue to advocate for working families, a more sustainable environment, expanding affordable broadband in rural areas, and equity for all marginalized groups.

Dan Klein for District 7

I am proud to represent a portion of the Town of Ithaca, along with Danby and Caroline on the Tompkins County Legislature. I take my job very seriously and am always interested in engaging with constituents about the issues the legislature is working on.

Vanessa Greenlee for District 8

It is time for us to do more so that our rural communities are resilient through times of uncertainty. The pandemic offers an opportunity to build back in ways that are different from before and more suited to our current climate reality. I am running to serve on the Legislature because we need people at the table who will search for diverse perspectives and seek to understand before making decisions. My campaign is driven by the idea that powerful things can happen when we communicate across difference.

Deborah Dawson for District 10

During my first term on the Legislature, I served on a variety of boards and committees, chaired the Planning, Energy, and Environmental Quality Committee for 2 years, and now chair the Budget, Capital, and Personnel Committee. Going forward, I intend to focus my efforts on addressing the two overwhelming challenges that now confront Tompkins County: the fiscal aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the efficient transition to sustainable energy we will need to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Shawna Black for District 11

I’m excited to run for re-election of County Legislator in District 11. In the upcoming term legislators will make decisions about law enforcement reform, green energy investments, and decisions that assist with affordable housing – I look forward to being a part of that.

Amanda Champion for District 12

Since beginning my term on the Legislature, I have been an advocate for environmental protections, health and human services, and good government. The most important part of this work is listening to people and guiding them to the information or help they need, particularly during this difficult period of the global pandemic.

Greg Mezey for District 13

I'm excited to be running for Tompkins County Legislator in District 13. As a local business owner, hospitality and real estate professional, community volunteer, and partner to Ryan, I bring the business, governance and community experience required to get the job done. We are at a critical juncture with the post-pandemic recovery, affordable housing shortage, need for public safety reform, access to health and family services, and efficient and effective government that listens and learns from all community voices. As your legislator, I will work towards consensus and ensuring your voice is heard. It will take all of us working together to find solutions that finally take these issues off the table. The motto "service above self" was instilled in me from an early age, and I am passionate about improving the quality of life for all of us in Tompkins County.

Michael Lane for District 14

Public service is a high honor. I have been humbled to represent District 14 of the Tompkins County Legislature, which is the east part of the Town of Dryden including the Villages of Freeville and Dryden. In 2021, I am excited to be running to continue my service for the people of our district and of our county. As a past Chair of the Legislature, and currently chairing the Facilities and Infrastructure standing committee, I want to continue to be effective by fighting to improve county services for our rural district. Recovery from the covid pandemic, safe highways, public safety, climate protection and economic development all require hard work. We have shown we can come together come together during the current crisis, and I am convinced that the future for our county is very bright.

City of Ithaca - Common Council

Cynthia Brock for Ward 1
Cynthia Brock for Common Council

The City is facing several difficult decisions in the coming years that will directly impact the City and the First Ward.

  • Redistricting of election boundaries and restructuring of the roles of Council and the Mayor will impact the voices of our residents in City government.
  • Real Estate development throughout the First Ward will be striking in their breadth and scale:
    • The South Hill Neighborhood Plan will define zoning and expand high density development into the area, and requires active outreach, and thoughtful and engaged involvement of residents.
    • The West End is seeing proposed development along the flood relief channel, Inlet Island, and the Fulton/Meadow corridor, which will have impacts on traffic, bicycle and pedestrian connectivity, and create a visible gateway into all areas of the City.
    • East State will see high-density development at the Gateway to the Commons, immediately adjacent to Six Mile Creek.
  • The Reimagining Public Safety initiative, involving the restructuring of our police department and expansion of services to include mental health, houselessness and addiction and recovery responses.

I am running for re-election to advocate for First Ward residents in the midst of dramatic change in the City, while also continuing to address resident's immediate needs and concerns such as road maintenance, stormwater management, traffic speed, police responsiveness, and bicycle and pedestrian safety and connectivity.

Phoebe Brown for Ward 2

Phoebe has lived and worked as a community activist in Ithaca for over two and a half decades, coming from Harlem, where she gained a deep understanding that mutual aid, strong relationships and community support systems are the bedrock of a strong society - in stark contrast to those who rely on abstract metrics that invariably find that high rise luxury apartments are the answer to every city’s problems.

Jeffrey Barken for Ward 3

Having grown up in Ithaca, Jeffrey graduated from Cornell in 2008. Over the course of three decades he has seen his hometown become a city. Committed to protecting the city’s cherished natural areas, he believes Ithaca is uniquely positioned to be a leader in clean energy, building practices, and transportation infrastructure. Jeffrey’s collaborative approach can bring people together in this pivotal pursuit.

George DeFendini for Ward 4

Because everyone deserves to live a life free from violence or fear of the police, Jorge is fighting to defund the police and instead, to use those funds in our community, including by making transit free and providing childcare. George believes that the answer to making “radical” politics mainstream lies with solidarity: working together with the community to use the power they’ve always had to make real the most ambitious visions of a better world possible.

Robert Cantelmo for Ward 5

As a member of Council, Robert plans to implement evidence-based policies that prioritize economic development and recovery from COVID-19, addresses our housing needs, demonstrates Ithaca’s commitment to environmental sustainability, and reforms community policing.

Town of Caroline

Mark Witmer for Town Supervisor

I am running for my 4th Term as Caroline’s Town Supervisor. I'm committed to continuing our work towards a sustainable future and ensuring that Caroline remains such a unique and wonderful place. After completing the update of our Comprehensive Plan in 2020, which called attention to increasing growth pressures, we're now working to develop planning tools that support the Town's vision. Working with folks at all levels of government, as well as community volunteers, who are all pulling in the same direction is very gratifying.

Katherine Goldberg for Town Council

Katherine Goldberg has served as an appointed Town Council Seat and will run for her first term election in November. He primary interest and motivation in serving the town is navigating rural land stewardship and rural community issues in the face of population growth. She approaches public service through a social justice lens, with a particular interest in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging work within agricultural communities. A member of the Planning Board prior to her service as Councilperson, Katherine was instrumental in addressing and envisioning what "rural character" means in the Town of Caroline. She and her husband appreciate the beauty and bounty of the town in all seasons as they tend to the maple trees, orchard, livestock and small herd of Icelandic horses on their farm in the Caroline hills.

Kate Mackenzie for Town Council

Kate Kelley-Mackenzie is a long-time resident of Brooktondale. She has served both town and county as a member of the Tompkins Environmental Management Council, the Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council, and Town of Caroline Natural Areas and Trails Committee. She is a La Leche League Leader, and Assistant Scout Master with Troop 55, and works tutoring high school students in our community. Kate holds a degree in Environmental Toxicology and looks forward to putting her education and energy to serve the Town of Caroline.

Cal Snow for Town Council

Cal Snow has served the Town Board as an independent running on the Democratic Line. He is entering is entering his third term as Town Council member. He no-nonsense approach to governance is informed by his roles as local farmer and cheese maker, and someone invested in smart business tactics. These characteristics make him an ideal candidate to represent Democratic leaning Caroline voters.

Gary Reinbolt for Town Justice

I am running for Re-election to Town Justice because my career is marked by dedication to public service. I spent over 45 years employed by nonprofits. In my first four years on the bench, I feel I have served diligently and hopefully wisely in applying the law equitably, and when called for with compassion. I appreciate many things about living in Caroline, but the thing I appreciate the most is its rural setting, and the people that live in it. I hope you’ll consider lending me your support in this most important and sensitive of positions.

Town of Danby

Joel Gagnon for Town Supervisor

I believe strongly in open and participatory government. I have prioritized communicating what is happening in local governance and facilitating public participation in decision-making. Revising zoning, dealing with noise, timber harvesting, traffic safety, climate change – these are all important and contentious issues. Compromise seems to be out of fashion, but it is foundational to democratic government. I pledge to work with anyone who is willing to work with me as we collectively plan for the future of the beautiful place we all call home.

Katharine Hunter for Town Councilperson
I believe in public service and our town's response to infrastructure needs--roads and ditches, diversity in rural towns, climate issues, services to our population--and how we can pay for these needs. I am available and interested in what the residents (new and long-time, young and old, land-owners and renters) think, feel, and believe. We move forward working together.
Patricia Woodworth for Town Councilperson
I am a candidate for the Danby Councilperson because I want to support and protect the town and its residents. I will spend whatever time and effort it takes to ensure that our town government efficiently provides those services that we all depend on. I know that involves actively listening to and understanding those concerns and that I can and want to do. For more details, see the committee website –
Janice Adelman for Town Clerk
Assisting Danby residents—whether with licenses, taxes, notary services, or simply answers to questions—is my number one priority. A major focus since taking on this role last year, and continuing into the future, is to improve not only the accessibility, but also the transparency of information throughout Town Hall. Additionally, I am actively trying to reduce unnecessary costs to the Town while upgrading our resources.
Keith Shipman for Highway Superintendent
I am running for the position of Danby Highway Superintendent because I am looking for new challenges. When I worked with the Town of Danby, I enjoyed working with the community and the employees. When I am elected, my goals are to make roads better, improve safety, work closely with government agencies to help obtain clean water, and find sources of funding to get these jobs done without breaking our budget.

Town of Dryden

Jason Leifer for Town Supervisor

Jason is running for his fourth term as Dryden Town Supervisor with 15 years in town governance. Jason has used his team-based governing style to improve the town’s infrastructure and attract environmentally friendly development. His efforts generated more than $100 million dollars in new public and private investment in just 5 years. One of Jason’s goals is to replace the patchwork of private Internet service providers with municipal broadband. Other priorities—to update the town’s Comprehensive Plan and the Dryden Rail Trail. The trail project received millions of dollars in grants from the state and federal government, town funding and private donations of time, money, and materials. Jason is a graduate of New York Law School and primarily practices family law and criminal law and serves as an attorney for children.

Dan Lamb for Town Board Member

Dan seeks a third term having served as deputy supervisor for five years. He is focused on economic and community development, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing property taxes. Dan negotiated an exclusive agreement with Solar Farms NY that doubled the savings for Dryden residents. He led the town’s negotiations with Berkshire Hathaway Energy that will require cleaner emissions, reductions in methane leakage, and unprecedented public disclosure at Borger Station in Ellis Hollow. He also established Dryden’s Business Loan Fund to support small businesses and create jobs. Dan wrote the resolution that created the Dryden Rail Trail. He negotiated an agreement with New York State to route the trail through state-owned land.

Leonardo Vargas-Mendez for Town Board Member

Leonardo, a 43-year resident of the county, was appointed to the board in February and will run for his first term election. He is dedicated to help improve the quality of life for all town residents for a beautiful, productive environment. His priorities include working with other local governments and responsible businesses to develop well-paid job opportunities and supporting ecologically sound affordable housing. Leonardo also hopes to promote a buy-local mindset for products from Dryden farms and artisans. A Cornell retiree, he was director of the Public Service Center, which matches students with volunteer agencies around the world. He has served on numerous local boards: including Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services and Catholic Charities of Tompkins and Tioga Counties.

Rick Young for Highway Superintendent

The former chief of Neptune Hose Company was elected Highway Superintendent eight years ago. With years of management and budgeting experience and a GPS-like knowledge of the town, he has delivered responsible, responsive management. Dedicated to community involvement he reaches for input to plan for town plowing, ditching, and road and bridge repair. In 2019, Rick helped the town win a $705,636 grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to fund the town’s streambank stabilization project. Additionally, he secured a grant to repair two critical town bridges, saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Town of Enfield

Stephanie Redmond for Town Supervisor

Now that the Town of Enfield has completed its Comprehensive Plan, I am excited to get down to business to see the actions of the plan followed through. I have been collaborating with the Tompkins County Public Library and several community members to bring library services to Enfield and will continue to advocate to expand those services. Additionally, I have been in contact with the NYS Dept. of Transportation to build sidewalks and address traffic safety in areas of concern. We are in the process of developing a Water Protection Plan and working on the construction of a salt barn to protect our water resources. I have been organizing to reestablish Financial and Renewable Energy Advisory Committees and am excited to see lots of community participation in these groups.

Cassandra Hinkle for Town Councilperson
Enfield is a diverse community, with a lot to offer as well as a lot of potential for growth. I’m looking forward to working with the community and the town to move Enfield in a forward direction for not only its residents, but its future residents as well.
Jude Lemke for Town Councilperson

I am a 6-year resident of Enfield, with both a legal and accounting background. I believe in public service and plan to use my skills to make Enfield a better place. I am particularly interested in exploring the opportunities we have as a town to invest the $350,000 Enfield is receiving under the American Rescue Plan. While there are restrictions on what the funds can be used for, but there are possibilities such as mental health for children, construction of outdoor facilities (e.g., playgrounds), providing more childcare and after-school programs, enhancing the Enfield Food Bank and offering on-site internet services for residents who don't have access to quality internet.

James Ricks for Town Councilperson

Hello Enfield, I'm James Ricks. Apparently I'm the first black councilperson in Enfield's 200 year history. I would like to be the first elected black councilperson in Enfield's history also. Honestly, and that's a word seldom seen in political discourse lately. But honestly, my initial view of Enfield was a bit disturbing, slightly threatening. It could have been the confederate battle flags I observed. Possibly the curiously long stares I received, and perceived to reflect that flag owner's sentiment. Fortunately since moving here in March 2004 I've been exposed to a kind, environmentally concerned, generous and thoughtful group here also. Great possibilities for exchange of ideas. Honest conversations about a viable sustainable future with all of Enfield's residents. Especially my grandchildren. VOTE FOR US!!

Mary Cornell for Clerk
I am running for the Enfield Town Clerk position. I am a registered Democrat. I have a degree in Business Administration and Applied Management. I have lived in Enfield my whole life and am actively involved in the community. I currently work as an Administration Assistant III at Cornell University and have for a total of 14 years. I served as the town bookkeeper for Roy Barriere and Ann Rider for two years. I am familiar with the town record keeping. I am a notary public.
Betty Poole for Town Justice
Barry Rollins Sr for Highway Superintendent

Town of Ithaca — Town Board and Town Justice

Rich DePaolo for Town Board
Endorsed by the Town of Ithaca Democratic Committee

Local government can’t happen in a vacuum. Public participation makes for better policy on important issues like land-use, development, sustainability, and the environment. I look forward to continuing to expand the ways in which people can shape the priorities of their community.

Margaret Johnson for Town Board
Endorsed by the Town of Ithaca Democratic Committee

I decided to run for Ithaca Town Board because I want to help protect and expand our parks, trails, and open spaces, preserve the precious resource of our beautiful lake, and promote progress toward the Town’s Climate Smart Communities Goals related to improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, vehicles and other sources. Fun fact: did you know the Town passed a Green New Deal resolution last March, and is developing a GND Action Plan?

Rob Rosen for Town Board
Endorsed by the Town of Ithaca Democratic Committee

I am a first-time candidate for the Ithaca Town Board because I want to contribute to the continuing success of the Town of Ithaca. In supporting the work of local government, I hope to help improve the lives of all people who live here. I see my role on the Town Board to collectively contribute to the Town's future.

Jim Salk for Town Justice
Endorsed by the Town of Ithaca Democratic Committee

The Court closest to the people continues to fulfill a vital role in the life of our community. Recently the NYS Legislature passed several dramatic reforms to laws over which the Town Courts exercise jurisdiction – e.g., imposition of bails, discovery in Criminal and Vehicle & Traffic cases; suspension of drivers’ licenses, and Landlord/Tenant law. My role is to assure our citizens in the Town of Ithaca care about justice and fair dealing.

Town of Lansing

Ruth Groff for Councilperson
Endorsed by the Town of Lansing Democratic Committee

Ruth Groff is a retired CPA, a former Controller with budgeting, forecasting, analysis, and financial ethics training. She was additionally employed as a Director of Finance with experience in team building and financial responsibilities. She has taught accounting courses at the community college level. Ruth’s investment in fiscal planning and accountability, dedication to the conservation of our natural areas, and support of broadband make her the ideal candidate to partner with long time Democratic Board member Joe Wetmore.

Joe Wetmore for Councilperson
Endorsed by the Town of Lansing Democratic Committee

Joe Wetmore is a long-term successful businessman and co-founder of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance. As a Town Board Incumbent since 2018, he has served on Lansing’s Comprehensive Plan Update Committee. He was key in preserving Bell Station lands, successfully lobbied for a full-time Town Planner, created the Conservation Advisory Council, and is Co-chair of the Lansing Broadband Committee. He represents Lansing on the Ithaca-Tompkins Count Transportation Council.

Town of Ulysses

Congratulations to the Town of Ulyses Democratic candidates!!!

On Sunday, July 11, 2021, the Ulysses Democratic Committee held a caucus at the Trumansburg Fairgrounds. The purpose of the caucus was to give registered Ulysses Democrats the opportunity to nominate candidates to run on the Democratic ticket in the November general election for Town of Ulysses offices.

Candidates chosen are:

Katelin Olson for Town Supervisor
Scott Stewart for Highway Superintendent

I am a lifelong resident of the Town of Ulysses and I care about this community. I have over 25 years of supervisor experience having worked as a shift manager for a printing company in Syracuse. I understand the importance of efficiency and the effects it has on time and money saved. As well as my experience in a supervisor role, I have a CDL and experience with the equipment that the highway department uses which allows me to be a working superintendent. When I started working for the highway department, I noticed that we had equipment that needed to be updated to become more efficient. I have developed a capitol plan that outlines the highway needs over the span of 10 years. I also have developed a plan to minimize the impact we have on the environment. In 2019 I started using an environmentally friendly salt mixture called Clear Lane and I am currently working with Cornell and Tompkins County to develop a plan to use ditching techniques to help minimize the runoff going into Cayuga Lake.

Richard Goldman for Town Council
Mary Bouchard for Town Council
Carissa Parlato for Town Clerk

I am grateful to have been the Town Clerk of the Town of Ulysses since 2014. I am applying to the voters of Ulysses to keep that job for another 4 years. Since taking office in 2014, my goal has been to improve and streamline processes to make them more efficient, transparent, cheaper, and more accessible to the community. I have made progress and have enjoyed doing it! My office works cooperatively with the Town Board and Town Supervisor but as an elected position, it functions independently as a check and balance to those positions. The Town Clerk’s office is a hub of information. In addition to the statutory duties, it is often the first stop for people with questions ranging from the church bake sale to trash pick-up. My goal is to connect people with the information that they need in the way that is easiest for them. I would be grateful for your vote on Nov. 2 (or before, if you prefer Early Voting!) Thank you

The Ulysses County Legislative seat will also be on the ballot in November. This seat is not determined at the caucus, but instead through the petitioning process (and sometimes a primary). Anne Koreman, the current County Legislator for the Town of Ulysses confirmed she has the required number of signatures on her petitions to run for office. She is the only Democratic candidate, therefore no primary vote is required.

Delegates for the 6th Judicial Convention

The delegates we elect will attend a judicial convention in August to nominate Supreme Court Justice Molly Fitzgerald for a second 14-year term.

Paid for by the Tompkins County Democratic Committee