Lori Lehenbauer Succeeding Vince Casale
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
SCHENEVUS – Lori Lehenbauer of Worcester, the county Republican elections commissioner since 2016, was elected Republican chairwoman when the county committee convened here last evening.
She succeeds Vince Casale, Republican chairman for the past seven years, who resigned in December, to devote more time to his political consultancy, The Casale Group, based in Cooperstown but serving candidates statewide.
“I’ve been a longstanding party member,” said Lehenbauer. “I’ve very grateful and honored that they picked me. I will work hard to represent all Republicans in Otsego County.”
With the foreshortened political calendar, she will be hitting the ground running. Two years ago, the primary was moved from September to June, and with the petitioning process beginning Feb. 23, the party is already recruiting candidates for the county board and town offices.
“I think we’ll have a very good slate of candidates,” she said, in what she called “a town year, a local-election year.”
A native of Ulster County, she moved to Otsego County in 1986 on her marriage to Chris Lehenbauer. The couple has two grown sons.
Lehenbauer joined the county committee in 2002, the same year she joined the Board of Elections staff. She was elevated to Republican deputy commissioner in 2012, and rose to the top job when Sheila Ross of Fly Creek retired. (Her Democratic counterpart is Mike Henrici, Cooperstown.)
The two county vice chairs remain the same: Heidi Lernahan, Westford, and Joe Marmorato, Hartwick.