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Mary Margaret

Robbins Breaks

Democrat Lock

She’s First Republican To Run

For Village Board In A Decade

A smiling Mary Margaret Robbins Sohns accepts the Republican nomination to run for Village Board at this morning’s caucus. With her are husband Matt Sohns and their daughter, Maggie, 9. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special To

COOPERSTOWN – Mary Margaret Robbins Sohns, whose years-long battle against Lyme Disease, culminating in a heart transplant last summer, inspired the community,  was nominated this morning by village Republicans to run for the Village Board in the March 18 elections.

The party’s sole nominee for the three open vacancies represents the first time in almost a decade, since Jeff Katz’s election as mayor in 2012 swept the Village Board for the Democrats, that local elections will be contested in Cooperstown.

“It’s time to give back to the community that’s given me so much in terms of support,” said Robbins, accompanied by husband, Matt, a Morgan Stanley senior vice president and financial adviser with a local office at 21 Railroad Ave., and their daughter, Maggie, 9.

Her husband put her name in nomination, and Alyssa McGoldrick seconded it.  Katie Lambert chaired the caucus at the offices of Casale Associates, 25 Chestnut St., and McGoldrick was elected caucus secretary.  About a dozen Republicans attended the caucus.

Given Democratic unanimity at 22 Main in recent years and repeated controversies in recent months, Vince Casale, county Republican chairman, said his goal is “to get more voices on the Village Board.”  That the local GOP finally can field a challenger may encourage other Republicans to step forward in future cycles.

A native of Delhi, Robbins said she was first asked to run for village office some 22 years ago by the late Stu Taugher, the longtime trustee, mayor and community leader, when she had recently moved to the village as a young pharmacist.  She was intrigued, but wasn’t able to follow through at the time.

“I think it’s time we work together,” she said.  “I’m hoping to represent the people of the community.”

Three seats will be decided March 18, which is a Wednesday — state law prohibits holding an election on St. Patrick’s Day, Tuesday the 17th — and the Democrats nominated three incumbents, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, and Trustees Joe Membrino and MacGuire Benton, at a caucus Wednesday.

Unless independent candidates circulate petitions in February, Tillapaugh will run unopposed for another two-year term.  In the trustee race, the top two vote-getters will be elected.

While the Republican nominee, Robbins recalled her grandmother advising her when she first registered to vote.  “You never vote along party lines,” the older women told the younger one.  “You always vote for the best candidate.”



  1. At this level of elected office, what exactly is the point of affiliation with a national party ? If “you never vote along party lines” then why not run as an independent ?

  2. “You never vote along party lines,” the older women told the younger one. “You always vote for the best candidate.”

    Hopefully, if elected she will always remember what her grandmother told her! It is not right or left once elected to public office. It is what is right for the greater good of all!

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