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For the First Time in New York History, the Green Party Wins Control of a Village

StoryJune 09, 2003
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On June 1st, 26 year-old Jason West and his two running mates Rebecca Rotzler, 39, and student Julia Walsh, 23, won majority control of New Paltz, NY. As mayor, West is advocating soybean fuel in village vehicles, reed beds that filter sewage, and college students in village government.

For the first time in history, New York State has a Green Party mayor.

Jason West, is 26 years-old, a house painter, puppeteer and activist. And on June 1st, he became mayor of the Village of New Paltz.

Green Party candidates Jason West and two running mates Rebecca Rotzler and Julia Walsh won majority control of the village in elections last week. He was inaugurated this weekend.

As the first Green Party mayor in New York State, Jason West will succeed 71-year old Democrat and Korean War veteran, Thomas Nyquist.

The new mayor plans to improve the sewers and run village vehicles on soy-based fuel.

New Paltz is a village of about 6,000 dominated by the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Newsday reports that some people say students tipped the election this month. Each candidate has ties to the school.

Jason West and trustee 41 year-old Rebecca Rotzler, are graduates. The other trustee, 23-year-old Julia Walsh, is a New Paltz student who spent the weeks after the Election Day studying for finals.

West figures his team’s entire campaign cost about $2,500.

Some people are not pleased with the result.

The Republican chairman of Ulster County, Peter Savago, called the election "a travesty."

Former mayor, Thomas Nyquist, is openly bitter and refuses to even discuss the issue.

  • Jason West, newly elected mayor of New Paltz, New York.


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