KINGSTON, NY – A former county lawmaker and member of the City of Marbletown board of directors compete in the race for the seat of District 18 of the Ulster County Legislature.
Eric Stewart is a Democrat who has served on the Marbletown council since 2018. Carl Belfiglio is a Republican who served as Esopus County lawmaker from 2010 to 2018.
The two are vying for the seat now held by Heidi Haynes, who has chosen not to run again.
District 18 includes parts of the towns of Marbletown and Hurley.
Election day is November 2. Early voting is available from October 23 to 31.
Stewart, of Marbletown, is a former high school teacher and licensed real estate agent.
Stewart said meeting the county’s needs for affordable housing would be high on his agenda if elected to the legislature.
He also said he would focus on the environmental issues facing the county and work to foster the growth of renewable energy and the expansion of the county’s “green” infrastructure. He also said he would push for more protection of the county’s waterways.
Stewart also said he would like to see the county expand and improve the county’s trail system and create new parks throughout the county.
In addition to serving on city council, Stewart served for seven years on the Marbletown Environmental Conservation Commission and is a founding member of the regenerated Rondout Creek Watershed Alliance.
He will appear on the lines of Democratic and Labor families on the ballot.
Belfiglio is a resident of Hurley and a computer networking specialist with Ulster County BOCES.
He said tackling the current opioid crisis would continue to be a priority if referred to the legislature and said he would push the county to provide more funding for prevention and treatment programs. He also has the county to bring back what he called “essential” mental health services to the county.
Belfiglio said the county needs to focus on creating new affordable housing options to deal with the housing shortage and soaring house prices exacerbated by rising short-term rentals and an influx of people since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Claiming that “for too long the legislature has been a punch bag for the county executive and its deputy county directors,” Belfiglio said he would urge lawmakers to stand up to the executive and “challenge the ‘executive to provide quality services to the residents of Ulster County in a smart and efficient manner that has checks and balances.
In addition to serving in the Legislative Assembly, he served on Esopus City Council from 2008 to 2010.
Belfiglio will keep the GOP and Conservative lines on the ballot.