The race is on!

With the results now in from the Shandaken Democratic Caucus, both major parties have chosen their candidates for local office in the 2012 elections.

For town supervisor, incumbent Rob Stanley will run again as a Republican, while Kathy Nolan will oppose him on the Democratic line. For Town Board, Republicans nominated incumbent Conservative Party member Vinnie Bernstein as well as Al (Alfie) Higley Jr. The Democratic candidates for Town Board are Michael Koegel and former town supervisor Peter DiSclafani. In the race for town clerk, Democrat Joyce Grant will oppose Republican incumbent Lauri Frasier.

Incumbent highway supervisor Eric Hofmeister added the Republican endorsement to the Democratic line that he won on last time, making him the candidate of both major parties for the 2012 election. Both of the incumbent town assessors, Heidi Clark and Carol Seitz, were nominated for reelection by the Republicans and Democrats also.

In contested races for party nominations, Lois Lapinski made a respectable showing while losing to Joyce Grant for the Democratic nod after having narrowly lost to Laurie Frasier for the Republican nomination last week. The closest race on the Democratic side was for the two Town Board seats that are up in the 2012 election. First-time candidate and Phoenicia businessman Michael Koegel was the top vote-getter, with former Democratic town supervisor Peter DiSclafani narrowly edging out Republican incumbent board member Vinnie Bernstein for the second Democratic slot.

The mood at the Democratic caucus last night, though understandably partisan, was good-natured throughout, with several Republican-endorsed candidates present to seek the support of the Democratic Party in contested races. As noted above, Vinnie Bernstein came very close to succeeding, while current town supervisor Rob Stanley won over a third of the Democratic votes for his efforts. A surprise was the relatively last-minute decision by Republican candidate for town board Alfie Higley Jr. to seek the Democratic nomination also. Though it was too late for him to be added to the printed ballot, he won a scattering of write-in Democratic votes as well.

Photo via Flickr user Ted Kerwin. Tom Rinaldo writes the Dispatches from Shandaken column for the Watershed Post's Shandaken page three times a week. Email Tom at