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Republican Committee backs Sandy Washburn in Sept 10 primary

Dear Fellow Republicans:

Because Michael Kelsey is facing serious criminal charges in Saint Lawrence County, NY, Republican leaders in Dutchess County are supporting Sandy Washburn for County Legislator from the 25th District in the upcoming Primary election on Thursday, September 10.  We strongly believe that Sandy, a Pleasant Valley resident, will be an outstanding addition to the County Legislature and a very effective representative for the Towns in this district. Sandy Washburn is a mother and a neighbor dedicated to our community, who learned her common-sense approach to problem solving on the dairy farm where she grew up.  

Sandy has over a decade’s experience in the parks and recreation field and is a strong supporter of agriculture and conservation.  She has what it takes to strengthen programs for veterans, farmers, and young people while being fiscally prudent.  Sandy will be a strong voice and presence we can trust in the County Legislature. The values of honesty, integrity and dedication make up the core principles of our Republican Party in Dutchess County.  Thanks to these values, Republicans have reformed county finances, protected taxpayers, and raised the quality of life for our families.  Working together, we have countered the “progressive”, liberal agenda and kept Dutchess County affordable and prosperous.  

Sandy is committed to these values and isn’t distracted by personal legal troubles. We want to keep this message as positive as possible, but it is important for you to know about Michael Kelsey’s legal situation, the fact of which is sadly a part of the public record but which his campaign for the Legislature isn’t telling you about. Kelsey was arrested in December 2014 and indicted this past June by a Grand Jury in Saint Lawrence County on five criminal charges: 1st degree sexual abuse and attempted sexual abuse (both felonies), along with forcible touching, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child (all misdemeanors), arising out of two incidents that allegedly occurred while he was supervising Boy Scouts on retreat in the Adirondacks.  A criminal trial is expected to be held in 2016, at which time the court will hear testimony, weigh evidence and determine Kelsey’s fate. For now, what is known is that he was suspended from the Boy Scouts in October 2014 and the judge has barred Kelsey from having any contact with anyone under the age of 18 who is not a family member. This is a very sad and unfortunate situation to say the least.  Under our legal system, Kelsey is entitled to a presumption of innocence, but we strongly believe that it is in the public interest, and also in Kelsey’s own personal interest, that he not stand for re-election under these regrettable circumstances.  

It is neither appropriate, nor wise for him personally, to be running for public office until this criminal proceeding is behind him, and the voting public, in making any future decisions about him, has the benefit of a full court record. We appeal to you, as Dutchess County Republicans, to agree with us that families living in the 25th Legislative District deserve a Republican candidate of impeccable character whom they can believe in with full confidence.  Please join with us in supporting Sandy Washburn in the Primary election on Thursday, September 10th.  You will not be disappointed. Thank you! Michael McCormack, Chairman Dutchess County Republican Committee Michael Chamberlin, Chair Town of Amenia Republican Committee Catherine Shanks, Chairwoman Town of Washington Republican Committee Chris Hart, Chairman Town of Pleasant Valley Republican Committee