Andrew John Zarutskie, Town Clerk of the Town of Newburgh since Jan. 1, 2002, was born at St. Lukes Hospital in the City of Newburgh. A resident of the Town of Newburgh since the age of 3, he atttended Fostertown Elementary School prior to the consolidation with the Enlarged Newburgh City School District. He is a graduate of Newburgh Free Academy (1967), Orange County Community College (1969) and The American University, Washington DC (1971). Andrew also studied on the graduate level at SUNY New Paltz.
Andrew was employed by United States Congressman Benjamin A. Gilman from 1973 until 2001. Andrew began as a clerk in the Congressman’s Newburgh office, and after several years transferred to the job of Grants and Projects Coordinator in the Congressman’s Washington DC office. In October 1983, Andrew was promoted to the position of Press Secretary to the Congressman, a position he went on to hold for over 17 years. He was also Intern Coordinator for the Congressman's office. While he served as Rep. Gilman's press secretary, Zarutskie was a member of the Republican Communications Association, an organization of Republican press secretaries. Zarutskie was a member of St. Peter's parish on Capitol Hill, and was a member of the Capitol Hill Squash Club. In early 2001, Zarutskie retired from the staff of Rep. Ben Gilman after 28 years of service.
In March 2001, Andrew indicated to the news media that he would be seeking the office of Town Clerk in the Town of Newburgh, which was being vacated by the incumbent. Andrew formally announced his candidacy in April 2001.
Subsequently, in May 2001, Andrew was endorsed for Town Clerk by the Town of Newburgh Republican Committee. The primary election, scheduled to be held on September 11, 2001, was postponed for two weeks due to the terrorist attacks on America. Andrew won that Republican primary with about 71% of the vote. On the same day, he won the Conservative Primary by a 6 to 1 margin. In the Nov. 2001 General Election, he received nearly 80% of the total vote cast, and did not face opposition in the 2003 and 2005 General Elections. He was renominated by both the Republican and Conservative Parties in 2003, 2005 and 2007, in each case without opposition. In each of those years, he was again endorsed by the Town of Newburgh Republican Committee.
On November 6, 2007, he was re-elected to a fourth term as Town Clerk. Andrew received 2,066 votes on the Republican line and 319 votes on the Conservative Party line, for a grand total of 2,385 votes. His opponent received only 1,219 votes on the Democratic Party line. These totals have been certified by the Orange County Board of Elections, and include machine, absentee, military and emergency ballots.
Andrew belongs to the Newburgh Kiwanis, and was a member of its Board of Directors. In October 2008, he was presented with the "Kiwanian of the Year" award, voted upon by the entire membership of the Newburgh Kiwanis. On Oct. 1, 2010, he became the 90th President of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Newburgh, and served until Sept. 30, 2011. During the Zarutskie administration, a great deal of funding was raised to provide scholarships to local students. Some local children were sent to summer camp by the Newburgh Kiwanis that year, both to "Kamp Kiwanis" upstate and also to the Braeside Camp in Orange County. President Zarutskie presented Habitat for Humanity of Newburgh with a check in the amount of $8,000 from the Kiwanis, a decision initiated during his predecessor's term. Also during the Zarutskie administration, the Newburgh Kiwanis "adopted" a suite of classrooms at the former Newburgh Armory building, which had recently been purchased by the City of Newburgh for youth recreational activities.
He is also a member of Knights of Columbus, Msgr. Henry O'Carroll Council No 444. Andrew received the honors of the 4th Degree in an exemplification honoring Pope Benedict XVI on March 24, 2007. He has served on the Board Directors of Holden Home for Seniors since 2002. In 2003, he served on the Mardi Gras Gala Committee for the Orange Co. Chapter, American Heart Association. He is a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) Chapter 1914. He serves on the Gilman International Library Advisory Committee at SUNY Orange. He formerly served on the Town of Newburgh Bicentennial Commission and the Board of Directors of Meals on Wheels of Newburgh.
Andrew has served on the Town of Newburgh Republican Committee since 1971. He has attended 6 of the last 8 Republican National Conventions. He served on the Executive Committee of the Orange County Republican Committee representing the Town of Newburgh from 1979 to 1983, and again from 2005 to the present. The Town of Newburgh Republican Committee awarded Andrew the "Republican of the Year" award for 2009. It was presented at the annual "Lincoln Day Dinner" held at Anthony's Pier 9 on Feb. 27, 2009. This banquet was extremely well attended and garnered a great deal of attention in the local news media.
On Nov. 8, 2011, Andrew was elected to a sixth term as Town Clerk. His official vote total of 3,137 was the highest number of votes obtained by any candidate in the Town of Newburgh that year, and in fact was more than 1,000 votes above the totals accumulated by his successful Republican running mates for Town Council and Town Supervisor.
In January 1994, he appeared three times on the nationally syndicated television quiz program "Jeopardy!”, winning a total of $22,600. His appearance on "Jeopardy!" fulfilled a long time dream and was what Andrew calls "a totally unforgettable and unparalelled experience."
Andrew has been a member of the Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands for over 35 years. He has authored several articles which appeared in the Orange County Historical Society Journal, and is an active member of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Parish in Newburgh. He is a lay reader at both Our Lady of the Lake Chapel and at St. Patrick's Church. His biography has appeared in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Politics.