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Two seek top seat in K’hook


KINDERHOOK—The top seat in the most populous town in the county is open in this November’s election. Current town Supervisor Patsy Leader, is not running for reelection. Matthew Nelson is running on the Democratic and Kinderhook United ballot lines. Current Town Board member Timothy “Tim” Ooms is running on the Republican and Conservative lines. The supervisor position is a two-year term.

There are also two Town Board seats on the ballot. Current Board member Debbie Johnson is running for reelection on the Republican and Conservative lines. Sean Casey, a current Valatie Village Board member, is also running on those lines. Jill Mescia and Melissa Miller are running on the Democratic and Kinderhook United lines.

The board seats are for four-year terms.

Also on the ballot is current Town Justice Lisa M. Mills, who is running unopposed for reelection on the Republican and Conservative lines. And current town Highway Superintendent John Ruchel, who is running on the Democratic and Republican lines is also unopposed.

This year Kinderhook voters will also decide a library funding proposal on the flip side of the ballot.

The supervisor candidates were sent questionnaires to fill out. Their answers appear below:

Matthew Nelson

Matthew Nelson

Mr. Nelson, 42, is a registered Democrat. He was elected to the Ichabod Crane (ICC) Board of Education in 2016 and has served as Board President since 2018.

Mr. Nelson has a bachelor’s degree in Social Science from the University of Maryland University College. He currently works as a Commercial Mortgage Lender.

He and his wife, Kelly Nelson, live in the Town of Kinderhook with their 3 children, Finley (13), Rowan (10) and Graeme (9).

The candidate statement he sent to the Columbia Paper says he “has dedicated his life to public service and feels strongly about the important role that citizens play in making their communities stronger and better. His many contributions to the community include his service on the town’s Board of Assessment Review, an active volunteer with the Columbia Friends of the Electric Trail (CFET), an active parishioner at St. John the Baptist Church, and his service on the Ichabod Crane School District Board of Education.

“He is our region’s representative on the Capital Region’s Regional Economic Development Council (CREDC) and a longtime board member of the NYS Rural Housing Coalition. He has been a volunteer for Habitat for Habitat and other community organizations with a focus on housing and helping those in need. Matthew cares passionately about the future of the greater Kinderhook community. He wants to preserve the character and feel of the town. He understands that positive growth and development will ensure a strong and stable community for all of Kinderhook’s residents, today and for generations to come.”

Contact Mr. Nelson at and for more information about his campaign go to

Tom Ooms

Tom Ooms

Mr. Ooms, 54, is running for supervisor after serving on the Town Board since 2012. He has served as deputy supervisor since 2020. He is a registered Republican and is endorsed by the Republican and Conservative parties.

He is a dairy farmer and partner in A. Ooms & Sons Dairy in Valatie. He and his wife have two adult children.

His candidate statement says, “It has been a pleasure serving on the town board for the past 10 years, and the past two years as deputy supervisor. I am running for the position of supervisor for the Town of Kinderhook. As a dairy farmer/ business owner, my tenure on the Town Board, deputy supervisor, and the chairmanship of numerous other committees, I have the experience necessary for the position.

“Having served on the board, I am most proud of being part of the team that has lowered taxes without cutting any services to the town. We have also acquired Martin H. Glynn and repurposed it into spacious community center, we added 140 acres of recreation space, and are currently working with the recreational committee to expand the activities at the park.

“Currently working on updating failing water infrastructure, and improving our website for better communication. We will respect our historical heritage, which makes Kinderhook a great place to live.”

There is information about Mr. Ooms’s campaign at

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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