106th AD race has Barrett facing Michael


GHENT—The 106th Assembly District seat is up for grabs November 3, as it is every two years.

Incumbent Democrat Didi Barrett seeks the seat she has held for the past eight years and is challenged by Republican Dean Michael.

In Columbia County, the district includes the towns of Ghent, Claverack, Germantown, Livingston, Clermont, Taghkanic, Copake, Ancram and Greenport and the City of Hudson. In Dutchess County, the district encompasses the towns of Milan, Pine Plains, North East, Stanford, Clinton, Hyde Park, Pleasant Valley, Amenia and Poughkeepsie.

Assemblymember Barrett was elected in a special election in March 2012 to what was then the 103rd District after then Assemblyman Marcus Molinaro resigned to become Dutchess County executive.

The district was redrawn to become the new 106th Assembly District, which included more of the southern part of the Columbia County. Ms. Barrett won in general election in 2012 for the new 106th seat and then was reelected in 2014 and 2016 and 2018.

Didi Barrett

Didi Barrett, 70, of Claverack is a Democrat running with endorsements from her party along with the Independence and Working Families parties.

Born in New York City, Ms. Barrett earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from UCLA and a master’s degree in American Folk Art from New York University.

She was former Director of Publications at the American Folk Art Museum and a former freelance journalist.

She was a former trustee of Girls Inc., New York Women’s Foundation, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and the Anderson Foundation for Autism.

She is the mother of two grown children.

In her statement of issues, Ms. Barrett wrote, “It has been the greatest honor to represent the diverse and beautiful 106th Assembly District.

“I am proud of the work we have done, including advocating for reliable high speed broadband, support for farmers and the environment, and spotlighting the fragile caregiving system we rely on for childcare, family and neighbors with mental health and developmental differences and our elderly. “Every day I am inspired by our Hudson Valley region, its wonderful people, rich history of innovation and environmental advocacy, world class cultural and artistic history, and, of course, our iconic diners. Hope to see you at a Diner Stop soon!”

Learn more at: didibarrett.com.

Dean Michael

Dean Michael, 59, of Staatsburg is a Republican running with endorsements from the GOP, Conservative and Libertarian parties for his first two-year term as the member of the Assembly from the 106th District.

Mr. Michael has been a member of the Clinton Town Board in Dutchess County for past 13 years.

Born in New York City, he earned his AS at Dutchess Community College, his BS at Marist College and his MBA at SUNY Empire State.

He is a self-employed insurance agent and real estate broker.

He is a member of the Sons of American Legion, Mid-Hudson Mortgage Bankers, Dutchess County Association of Realtors, Pets-4-Vets, Love Holds Life (Kids with cancer), Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency and the Pirate Canoe Club.

He and his spouse, Susan, have three grown children and three grandchildren.

In his statement of issues, Mr. Michael said he has been committed to his community by volunteering on many boards and committees.

He started by coaching his son’s baseball team in Hyde Park and then applied his knowledge and experience by helping others start and manage their own business through SCORE, a resource agency of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Lower taxes, reduced regulations, encouraging business start-ups, personal freedoms and balancing the budget are all priority issues for Mr. Michael.

“New Yorkers have been over-taxed and over-regulated for decades and these two issues have been driving hundreds of thousands of our residents to leave New York every year.

“By not reducing the state’s bloated budget, reducing taxes, cutting over-regulations and encouraging business and taxpayers to stay, we will all pay an even higher price to remain here,” he wrote.

Learn more at: dean@dean4ny.com

To contact Diane Valden email dvalden@columbiapaper.com

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