Tulipane reiterates that he's running

Michael Risinit
Thursday, August 2, 2001

The Democratic candidate for town supervisor redeclared his candidacy for Kent's top spot yesterday because, he says, one of his opponents is telling residents something different.

For about 10 days, Democratic challenger William "Bil" Tulipane said, he has been hearing from residents that he is no longer running for supervisor. The source of that news, Tulipane said, is Town Councilman Dennis Illuminate, who is also running for supervisor on the Independence Party line.

"He's said it to others, and its propagating," said Tulipane 54. "I wanted to nip it in the bud cleanly, accurately and concisely and prevent it from occurring again in the campaign."

Tulipane and Illuminate we part of a three-way race for the supervisor's spot which includes Supervisor Annemarie Baisley. She will appear on the GOP and Right-to-Life lines in her bid for a third, two-year tem. The town supervisor is paid $44,468 annually.

Illuminate yesterday denied Tulipane's accusations.

"I don't mention Bil's name. said Illuminate, 59. "Why should I tell people Bil's not running?"

In June, Illuminate surprised town officials and residents and accepted the endorsement of the Putnam County Independence Party in his bid for supervisor. A registered Conservative, Illuminate had earlier said he would retire from town politics rather than run again for his council seat, He had thought about running for supervisor but changed his mind after town Republicans endorsed Baisley. At a town Republican food raiser in March, the four-term councilman had passed out baseball caps that proclaimed "Illuminate for Supervisor."

November's ballot will also include contested races for the two Town Board seats that are up for election. The Democrats endorsed candidates in May.

Tulipane said several people have approached him over the last week - at the library, town meetings and at the recent referendum vote on funding for the new town center- asking why he pulled out of the race. While the number of questioning residents has been small, between five and 10, Tulipane said he wanted to quell the gossip early.

"You can't let a rumor like that get legs," said Tulipane, who is making his second run for town supervisor. Baisley beat Tulipane a retired New York City firelighter, by 467 votes in 1997.

Illuminate also ran once before for supervisor. As a Conservative in 1991. He lost a three-way race by 620 votes to the incumbent supervisor Joseph Belvedere. Earlier that year, he lost the Republican primary to Belvedere, 517-342.

Baisley yesterday said she hadn't heard a word about Tulipane's supposed pullout and said she was disappointed such talk was racing around town. There's no reason for this," she said.

Illuminate yesterday faulted Tulipane for not mentioning his concerns directly to him. Tulipane said he talked to the councilman Monday night after the Town Board workshop and gave him a business card touting his campaign. Illuminate acknowledged chatting with Tulipane on Monday but said he didn't receive a business card nor did the two talk about the campaign.

"I handed him a card" said Tulipane when told of Illuminates recollection, "just to make it understood that I'm running."


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