If Bob Godlewski’s status as persona non grata among Democrats wasn’t evident before, it’s crystal clear now.
Committee Chairman Tony Jasenski excluded the incumbent Town Board member’s name from the party’s petition, which began circulating through Rotterdam’s election districts last week. Godlewski joined Lisa Dufek as the only two incumbents left off the petition while still seeking a seat on the committee.
“He completely cut us out of the process,” he said.
The exclusion follows Godlewski being shunned for the party’s endorsement to run for his board seat again. Instead, the committee backed Christine Hansen, a registered Republican who will switch her enrollment following the election in November.
“It just goes to show how treacherous they are,” said the perturbed Godlewski.
Godlewski said the committee has an obligation to incumbents, even if they’re backing other candidates in a primary. He said when Jasenski backed a primary challenger against him in 2011, he at least included his name on the petition.
Equally angered by the move was Dufek, who also faced a primary challenge two years ago. She said she only learned of her exclusion after picking up the petitions earlier last week.
“And I was the top vote-getter in my district,” she said.
Both Dufek and Godlewski are free to circulate their own petitions for their respective committee seats.
Jasenski did not return a call for comment Friday. But County Committee chairman Brian Quail defended his decision to exclude both from the list.
“I knew they were not going to be on the list and I supported them not being on the list because they have supported candidates from other parties,” he said.
Both supported former Supervisor Frank Del Gallo’s independent party line run in 2011. The Democrats backed Harry Buffardi for supervisor, who ultimately cruised to victory during the election.
Quail also accused Godlewski, who served as Del Gallo’s deputy supervisor for two years, of attending a Republican fundraiser in neighboring Glenville along with the former supervisor. He said Godlewski’s support for other candidates coupled with his discord on the Town Board made excluding him from the petitions an obvious decision.
“There’s clearly a division, so the party didn’t produce a petition for him,” he said.
But Dufek believes it was her outspoken nature that led to her omission from the petition. She said her objection to Hansen as a candidate rankled Jasenski and ultimately led to her being excluded.
“I’m not going to be pushed around and bullied because I’m not in lock step,” she said.
But Quail disagreed. He blamed both Dufek and Godlewski for crafting their own narrative to the reality, which is that they no longer fit with the committee.
“You have people who are not in sync with the party who are continuing this narrative that they are victims of the party,” he said.