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A Fall Classic: Vanderhoef v. Carlucci

by Dave Zornow

When C. Scott Vanderhoef was first elected Rockland County Executive, Clarkstown Clerk David Carlucci was in the 6th grade. This Fall the old Republican political hand will face off with the young Democratic newcomer to decide who will be Rockland’s next NYS Senator. Voters will choose which trait is best suited to reform New York’s dysfunctional state government: youth or experience.

Last night, Rockland Republicans selected Vanderhoef as their choice to succeed retiring NYS Senator Thomas Morahan (R). The Democratic Committees in Orangetown, Orange County and Rockland County have endorsed Carlucci and he’s most likely to be their party’s choice.

Vanderhoef was re-elected to his fifth term as Rockland County Executive in 2009 defeating Orangetown Supervisor Thom Kleiner. In 2002, he unsuccessfully ran for Congress and in 2006 and was the Republican and Conservative Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor when former State Assembly Minority Leader John Faso ran for governor. He has also served with the Ramapo Central School District and as Village Justice for Hillburn. Vanderhoef first served in the public sector as a program liaison during Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s administration.  He’s a graduate of Alfred University, has a Masters from Columbia University Teacher’s College and a Law Degree from Pace University.

If Vanderhoef’s experience screams “it’s who you know,” Carlucci’s credibility and comfort with technology and change says it’s “what you know.”

After his 2002 graduation from Cornell with a degree in Industrial and Labor Relations, Carlucci was elected Clarkstown Town Clerk in November 2005 making him one of the youngest elected officials in New York. As Town Clerk, Carlucci revamped the municipality’s web page and spearheaded an effort to digitize all of the Town’s records dating back to 1752. Carlucci was awarded a fellowship to attend the Google 2009 Personal Democracy Forum and is currently leading an effort to win free broadband from Google for Clarkstown. He has been recognized by Innovation Generation as one of the nation’s top 100 Generation NEXT and Information Technology leaders.

Carlucci may still face a primary if any other Democratic candidate can get 1,000 signatures by July 15 to be placed on the ballot. Carlucci received an endorsement from Rockland Progressive Democrats on Monday night at a Meet the Candidates event attended by all four Democratic Senate hopefuls.

Sources: Journal News 6/8/2010Vanderhoef Bio;, Wikipedia,,

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