OTSEGO CANDIDATE TO FACE SALKA
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – A Hamilton farmer, Corey Mosher, has announced a challenge to freshman Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, in the 121st District next year, but local Democrats say they expect Otsego County will have its own candidate for the party’s nomination, Dan Buttermann of Oneonta.
In 2017, Buttermann lost narrowly – 1,158 to 1,203 – to then-Assemblyman Bill Magee, D-Nelson, who was then defeated by Salka, former Brookfield Central school board president and Madison County Board of Supervisors chairman.
“Dan’s definitely running at this point,” said Richard Sternberg, the Cooperstown village trustee who was Buttermann’s treasurer last time around. “That’s what he told me.”
Buttermann didn’t return calls, but MacGuire Benton, the county Democrat committee’s co-vice-chairman, said he also expects Buttermann to run next year. “He’s out and about,” Benton said.
Among other things, he said, the Buttermann for Assembly Facebook page is still active; it was updated as recently as Oct. 17.
Currently, Mosher, who made the announcement Sunday, Oct. 20, serves as the board chairman of the Madison County Cooperative Extension, board member of the state Vegetable Growers’ Association, and as a member of the National Barley Improvement Committee.
His family’s Mosher Farms has been operating for over a century.
The candidate said he’s running because one in five rural New Yorkers still lack broadband, rural healthcare is often inaccessible and unaffordable, Upstate schools are underfunded, childcare is inadequate, and long-term care “remains a privilege.”
For his part, Salka, who led the Pulmonary Department at Hamilton’s Community Memorial Hospital, said, “I know Corey. He’s a good man, a good family man and a good farmer.” But, he added, “I’m focused right now on so many issues in the district. That’s the focus of my energies now. I’m not thinking about elections right now.”
Otsego County Republican chairman, Vince Casale, characterized Mosher’s announcement as premature.
“Anyone who would announce a 2020 campaign two weeks before local elections … is completely out of touch,” he said. “I’m confident the people of the 121st District will stick with someone who cares about the people. Albany has enough narcissists.”
Otsego County is divided into four Assembly districts: the 121st (represented by Salka), the 122nd (Clifford Crouch, R-Bainbridge), the 101st (Brian Miller, R-New Hartford) and the 102nd (Chris Tague, R-Schoharie).
But the 121st covers the bulk of the county, including Cooperstown and Oneonta. When Democrat Chad McEvoy of Westford ran against Miller last year, one of his planks was to abolish the spaghetti-like district, which winds narrowly through Central New York from Utica to Orange County.
Benton said he’s met Mosher, whom he said “seems like a pleasant person.”
“As an individual,” he continued, “I feel inclined to support my own county’s candidate,” but he added, “official policy, as far as I know, is that the county committee doesn’t endorse in primaries. “
Buttermann, who works at NYCM in Edmeston, lives in Oneonta and serves on the city’s school board. He and his wife Ana Laura Gonzalez, a Hartwick College professor, have three daughters.