Well, it has been an interesting week.
My first election as Glens Falls city reporter seemed to go pretty well. The mayoral race went as expected with current Councilor-at-Large Dan Hall being elected. Hall got more votes than the combined totals of Republican Tim Guy, a former Warren County Sheriff’s deputy, and Rich Cirino, who works as a program manager for the state Department of Motor Vehicles and is a former downtown merchant.
It was refreshing to see a civil campaign that stuck to the issues that included abandoned properties, taxes and spending and downtown development. The three candidates participated in a forum at Crandall Public Library on Oct. 29, in which Guy remarked that he is pleased that there was no mudslinging or political games.
This is in sharp contrast to the drama in the Queensbury town races in which the issue of when the local Republicans knew Hal Bain wanted to back out and how he was going to be replaced overshadowed issues of taxes and spending that the GOP wanted to focus on. It knocked out the two Republican incumbents – Tim Brewer and Brian Clements – and got Democratic supervisor John Strough re-elected.
I filled in for my Kathleen Moore, who has been out sick the last few years, on some follow-up stories and tried to get a handle on things. It is clear to me that if Bain did not want to run, he and the party should have been up front. Bain might have gotten more than he bargained for and did not want to be in town politics after all.
It was a chain of events that started when the Republicans did not back Tony Metivier for re-election. Metivier was the lone Republican on the board who voted against changing the town’s law firm to one where John Aspland, vice chairman of the Queensbury town Republicans worked. Metivier wrested the nomination in a primary and Bain remained on some minor ballot races.
I was not expecting a couple of the Glens Falls races to be so close. I thought with his name recognition, Mayor Jack Diamond would cruise to victory in his race for the county supervisor seat representing Ward 1. Diamond, the Democrat, leads by only 5 votes with 169 over 164 for Nancy Underwood, who has the Republican and Independence ballot lines.
Underwood’s husband, Phillip Underwood, is mounting a strong challenge to one-term incumbent First Ward Councilor Jim Campinell, narrowly trailing by 4 votes, 164-160. Both of these races will be decided by absentees.
In some other races, I was surprised that political newcomer Andrea Hogan was elected in Johnsburg over Town Board member Peter Olesheski, who works for the Warren County Department of Public Works as an environmental educator at Up Yonda Farm.
Hogan has management experience as director of Adirondack Community Outreach Center.
It was a split decision in Thurman as Democrat Cynthia Hyde is on track to win election to a full two-year term as supervisor. She holds a 230-211 lead over Republican Susan Shepler. Shepler would have to win 80 percent of the absentee votes to overtake Hyde.
However, Town Board member Kathy Templeton was ousted.
Incumbent Joan Harris, who was appointed to the board in February, was elected along with Doug Needham. I was a little surprised that Needham did this well. At a candidate forum I covered, he had very little to say and responded with “pass” to what seemed like half of the questions
Brenda Ackley and Gail Seaman won the two, two-year terms. Mary Eddy, wife of current board member Mike Eddy, came in last.
That means the slate of candidates that were running with Shepler will have a majority on the board.