News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Erin Collier

Collier, Backers Watch Returns At Upstate Grill


Collier, Backers Watch

Returns At Upstate Grill

Intently, Congressional candidate Erin Collier and her campaign manager, Paul Feingold, watch returns at an Election Night Watch Party she is hosting at this hour at Cooperstown’s Upstate Bar & Grille.  So far, only Schoharie of the 11 counties in the 19th District has reported all precincts, and has gone to Antonio Delgado. (Parker Fish/
MURPHY: Collier Can Be Our Voice In Difficult Times


Editor’s Note:  Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal went to press Tuesday, June 19,  and any further political letters regarding the Tuesday, June 26, Democratic primary received through next Monday will be published on  Please e-mail them to   The polls will be open noon-9 p.m. next Tuesday across Otsego County.

MURPHY: Collier Can Be Our Voice In Difficult Times
POLITICAL LETTER: Collier Can Be Our Voice In Difficult Times
MURPHY: Collier Can Be Our Voice In Difficult Times

To the Editor:

Now is a difficult time for us all.

There is such sadness, fear and for many people, a daily  struggle just to get by.

I have lived in this area for over 40 years and taught middle and high school students in Cooperstown school for 20 years. I know and celebrate the wide variety of people who live in this district. We are yearning for ethical and respectful political leadership. On June 26. we vote for our Democratic NY-19 Congressional representative.

I am voting for Erin Collier for Congress.

We live in a beautiful area, rich with history, including the wisdom of the Native People who wisely considered how seven generations to come would be affected by their decisions. Erin Collier has the long-range vision we need. She is an experienced economist with working-class communities. She understands the need for healthcare for all and believes clean renewable energy is our future.

There is a saying, “Women hold up half the sky.” Erin is an advocate for all of us, not just the powerful or the loudest. She understands the gender wage gap and the struggles of families and children. Over the years I have known Erin, she has always enjoyed friendships with a wide variety of people. She is not exclusive but inclusive. This is what we need in our Congressional representative.

I have known Erin since she was an 11-year-old student in my class.  I have observed her intellect, her open heart, dedication to purpose, willingness to work hard and her absolute joy in life.

I have seen many students over time find a place where their talents are needed. Many are in this community and many others are in places throughout the world enriching lives of others.

Erin is here now to serve our community.

I will vote for Erin because I know she can represent me in the many layers of working in Congress.

I will vote for Erin knowing that this era of sadness and fear will take a while to change and Erin has the skills and passion to speed us toward a time of balance.

This is a long journey. I begin with one step and will vote for Erin Collier.



Cooperstown Debate Lets Candidates Ask The Questions

Cooperstown Debate Lets

Candidates Ask Questions

All seven candidates vying for the Democratic nomination in the 19th Congressional District gathered in Cooperstown tonight for a debate, which was formatted to allow each candidate to ask one question that the other candidates had to answer. The format allowed candidates to showcase their strengths, while also allowing the audience to view the candidates under a more critical light, according to organizer Richard Sternberg. The debate, held in the Sterling Auditorium at Cooperstown Central School, brought Democrats from across the county to hear from all of the candidates. The Democratic primary election will be held on June 26 to determine who will go toe-to-toe with Faso in the general election to be held on Nov. 6.  The 300-seat auditorium was almost filled. (Parker Fish/
56th Annual Regatta Brings Out Local Pros

56th Annual Regatta

Brings Out Local Pros

Oneonta residents Trevor LeFever, front, and Benedict Schlimmer, rear, paddle on the Susquehannah through Emmons, near Fortin Park, during today’s 56th annual General Clinton Canoe Regatta. The 70-mile canoe race brings professional paddlers from all over North America to the Susquehanna every year on Memorial Day weekend. LeFever and Schlimmer, racing in the Pro class, came through Oneonta in second place, behind veterans Steve Lajoie and Andy Triebold. Pictured at right,  Congressional candidate Erin Collier, Cooperstown, cheers on her brother Todd Collier and his partner Luke Banner. Collier, who is running against six other Democrats in the June 26 primary for the chance to challenge U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, was part of her brother’s pit crew, and waded into the river to give him a fresh water bottle and a quick snack. (Parker Fish/


Signatures Validated

Signatures Validated

Collier Can Run, Board of Elections Rules

Erin Collier speaks at the Otsego County Youth Food Movement forum last Friday in Cooperstown. (Parker Fish/

By PARKER FISH • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – The state Board of Elections determined this afternoon that Cooperstown native Erin Collier’s signatures on her campaign petition were valid, clearing the way for her name to appear on the ballot in the 19th Congressional District Democratic primary June 26.

Collier garnered over 2,700 signatures on her petition, more than double the amount that is required and, according to Collier, more than most other congressional candidates in the 19th.

But her petition was challenged by Gardiner Town Democratic Party vice chair Barbara Rose Sides, who contested many of the signatures.  The Gardiner Democrats had endorsed Pat Ryan, an Iraq veteran and tech executive who lives in proximity.

Students Gather For Youth Food Movement

Students Gather For

Youth Food Movement

COOPERSTOWN – Cooperstown sisters Kristen and Dana Leonard spoke in front of a large gathering of local high school students this morning during the Otego County Youth Food Movement, an event organized by the sisters to raise awareness for local agriculture and farming. The students listened to multiple presenters speak about locally sourced food. District 19 Congresisonal Candidate Erin Collier, D-Cooperstown, pictured at right, was one of the speakers, who talked about her experience growing up on a farm in Cooperstown, and why local agriculture is important.

Afterwards, the students visited three different stations where they learned hands-on about locally sourced produce. The students also made “disco soup,” which is soup made from produce that was rejected from supermarkets based on appearance. The soup that the students made will be served at tomorrow’s farmer’s market in Cooperstown. (Parker Fish/

Hometown Crowd Cheers Cooperstown’s Erin Collier

Hometown Crowd Cheers

Cooperstown’s Erin Collier

Erin Collier of Cooperstown, the only Otsego County candidate in the race in the 19th Congressional District Democratic primary race, pauses with family members after she was warmly applauded by a local crowd after a forum that ended a few minutes ago in the Village Hall ballroom.  Seated from right are sisters Erica and Jessica Collier, the candidate, and grandmom Shirley Banner and her friend, Leon Spicer.  Standing from right are Jessica’s fiance Lance Lowell, parents Steve and Evelyn Collier, beef farmers in the Town of Middlefield, and brother Todd Collier.  (Another brother, John Collier, and his wife, Karen, were away on vacation this week.)  During 70 minutes that included a presentation and Q&A, Erin, an economist who works for USAID, a federal famine-prevention agency, fielded questions ranging from how to expand local healthcare to how to firm up Social Security, expressed confidence her nomination petitions would withstand a challenge.   She reported her “great, great, great, great, great grandfather” moved to the county “after fighting the Revolutionary War,” and Colliersville bear her family’s name.  Milford’s Banner Hill is named after her mother’s family.  The candidate is due at a forum at 6 p.m. today in Lecture Hall One at SUNY Oneonta HIRC building, sponsored by the college’s Young Democrats.  (Jim Kevlin/

Discussion With The Candidates


CANDIDATES FORUM – 6 – 8 p.m. Democrat Congressional candidates for the 19th district, Jeff Beals, David Clegg, Erin Collier, Antonio Delgado, Brian Flynn, Gareth Rhodes, and Pat Ryan discuss issues, more. HIRC Lecture Hall 1, SUNY Oneonta. Visit

YOUTH PROGRAM – 2:30 p.m. Workshop introducing children to methods archaeologists use to find and identify archaeological sites. Cooperstown Village Library. Call 607-547-8344 or visit

Another Local Candidate For Congress, Much More

Another Local Candidate

For Congress, Much More

A second Otsego County candidate, Erin Collier of Cooperstown, has announced she is challenging U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, this year. The first local candidate, Sue Sullivan, dropped out late last year after she found she was unable to raise sufficient money. Read about Collier, the GOP endorsement of Sheriff Devlin, a celebrated Maine brewer’s return to his hometown of Oneonta, and much more, in this week’s Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta, on local newsstands this afternoon.
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