Doherty’s behavior on full display

Posted 2/24/23

Last Wednesday evening I, as well as many other town Republican committee members, attended the nominating convention of Sullivan County’s Republican Party.

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Doherty’s behavior on full display


Last Wednesday evening I, as well as many other town Republican committee members, attended the nominating convention of Sullivan County’s Republican Party. 

Sorella’s Restaurant in Kauneonga Lake was filled to capacity with anxious candidates and party members. Shortly after county committee chairman Gary Maas opened the convention with the Pledge of Allegiance, Sullivan County legislature chairman, District One legislator and Town of Bethel committee member Rob Doherty displayed the type of behavior he has come to be known for: A complete lack of respect for anyone who dares to disagree with him. 

As it is in nominating conventions, Mr. Doherty was well within his rights to question the proceedings of the party’s nomination of a candidate for the office of the district attorney. However, Mr. Doherty’s attempt to shout down Chairman Maas’ explanation of the process was anything but respectful or professional.

It didn’t stop there.

When the town’s committee members were directed to receive and subsequently cast their ballots in alphabetical order starting with Bethel, Mr. Doherty stood next to the ballot box and continued to boisterously object to the proceeding. Possibly intimidating some people waiting in line to vote, Mr. Doherty was instructed to cast his ballot and move away from the ballot box, with which he complied.

In the past, I have publicly stated that I believe this legislature should be credited with some notable accomplishments. I have also stated that I believe Mr. Doherty is a smart business owner who works long hours and tries to do what he believes is in the best interest of Sullivan County and its residents and businesses. 

However, Mr. Doherty is certainly not a leader, and has at times been an embarrassment to his office and this county.

In fact, Mr. Doherty may be best described as a manipulator, rather than a leader. You see, to be a successful leader, a person needs to be more than just intelligent and hard-working. That’s where Mr. Doherty falls way short. 

A true leader expects and demands the best from those around him or her. A true leader expects them to become leaders in their own right and to never be satisfied to just be a follower. A true leader always shows respect for others, even those with whom they do not agree. In contrast, Mr. Doherty has repeatedly displayed his lack of respect for fellow legislators and county employees, as well as members of the public attending county legislature meetings.

While some of the legislators have tried to rein in the actions of Mr. Doherty, others have remained silent. The frustration with Mr. Doherty has reached new heights, and now he and most of the other incumbent Republican legislators will face difficult reelection challenges by some formidable opponents. Due to the actions of one legislator AND the lack of action of some others, the residents of Sullivan County may be seeing many new faces in the legislature in 2024.

To those of you, Republicans and Democrats alike, who think this letter will harm the Republican Party of Sullivan County, I disagree. While I considered that possibility before sending it to publication, I determined that if I stayed silent and said nothing, there would be more at stake than any one political party. 

The future of Sullivan County government may be at stake. In his own words in one of his many letters to the editor over the last three years, Mr. Doherty said, “If nothing ever changes, nothing changes”!

Good luck to ALL of the candidates this year, and remember this: If you always do what’s right for your constituents, you may not always win, but you will NEVER be a loser.

Thomas Bose is the Town of Callicoon Republican Committee acting chairman. A farmer, he also serves as Town of Callicoon supervisor.

sullivan county republican party, members, committee


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