Trailblazers PAC, the non-partisan pro-transparency organization founded by former State Senate candidate Leslie Danks Burke, today announced its endorsement of five candidates seeking local office across New York State:

  • Leslie Berliant for Otsego County District 7 (Cooperstown) Legislator,
  • Valerie Brechko for Yates County District 3 (Milo) Legislator,
  • Michael Koplinka-Loehr for Tompkins County District 6 (Lansing) Legislator,
  • Kristofer Munn for Dutchess County District 20 (Red Hook) Legislator, and
  • Molly Reilly for Mayor of Sackets Harbor (Jefferson County).

Today’s endorsements are in addition to 2017 candidates endorsed since Trailblazers PAC was founded earlier this year:

  • Stephanie Townsend for Town Boardmember in Pittsford (Monroe County)
  • Hal McCabe for Mayor of Homer (Cortland County)
  • Faith Tyler for Mayor of Groton (Tompkins County)

Trailblazers PAC considers candidates running at the county level or below in New York or Pennsylvania who stand for honest government by fully disclosing all their campaign finances (far beyond the state regulations), and who make themselves accountable to their own voters by raising a portion of campaign funds from at least 1% of the voting households within their own districts. The Trailblazers PAC endorsement recognizes exceptional candidates who demonstrably commit to continued transparency once in office.

In addition to direct contributions to endorsed candidates, Trailblazers PAC provides candidate and supporter training programs that have had over 500 attendees at a dozen workshops across New York and Pennsylvania in the past eight months.

“Regular people everywhere are getting involved in local politics to make their communities better. The building blocks toward toward clean, honest government start at the local level. We applaud Leslie, Valerie, Michael, Michael, Kristofer, and Molly for their action to reengage voters with democracy through what we call Front Porch Politics,” said Leslie Danks Burke, founder and president of Trailblazers PAC.

“I am thrilled to have the Trailblazers PAC’s endorsement. Local politics is all about getting the conversation started and it is vital that all members of the community feel like their voice is being heard. I appreciate all that I have learned from Trailblazers PAC and look forward to working with them further,” said Leslie Berliant, endorsed candidate for the Otsego County Board District 7 seat in Cooperstown. Leslie also participated in Trailblazers PAC’s education program by attending a training in Oneonta a few weeks ago.

“I am so grateful for Trailblazers PAC’s support. Bringing about change at a local level starts on a basic, grassroots level and Trailblazers PAC represents that movement. I am eager for the chance to work with it and learn from it,” said Valerie Brechko, candidate for the Yates County Legislature District 3 seat. She also attended a Trailblazers PAC training in March 2017.

“The endorsement of Trailblazers PAC inspires and deepens my commitment to engage every voter thereby making local government more transparent and accessible to the average citizen. As Mahatma Gandhi has said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Local elected officials need to be leading the charge on creating positive changes and I am passionate about public service to my community,” said Michael Koplinka-Loehr, candidate for Tompkins County Legislature District 6 seat.

“Trailblazers PAC is the front-runner in the conversation about making government more transparent and open. Those have been pillars of my journalism career prior to starting this campaign and it’s empowering to have Trailblazers PAC’s support,” said Kristofer Munn, candidate for the Dutchess County Legislature District 20 seat. Munn formerly served as publisher, editor, and reporter of the The Observer, a biweekly newspaper covering NW Dutchess County.

“It means so much to have the support of Trailblazers PAC. I am proud to serve my community and hope to do even more by serving as Sackets Harbor Mayor,” said Molly Reilly, current Trustee and candidate for Sackets Harbor Mayor.