QUEENSBURY — Longtime Town Board member Tony Metivier fought off a Republican challenger Tuesday night, which means he has essentially won re-election.
Metivier won the Republican Ward 1 primary against challenger Paul Ryan by a vote of 347-219 in unofficial results.
Ryan had no other lines and will not be on the November ballot, meaning that Metivier will be running unopposed.
Metivier said he was surprised that Ryan got so many votes — about 39%.
“I obviously have work to do, because 38% voted against me. I’d love to know why,” he said. “Maybe I should have been the better man and stood up and asked for the (Republican) endorsement. There’s a lot of people who told me I should have gone for it.”
Also Tuesday, board member Jennifer Switzer lost the Independence Party primary to challenger Travis Whitehead by a vote of 20-2 in unofficial results.
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Whitehead won with 90% of the vote.
It’s not the end for Switzer. She and Whitehead will face off again in November. Whitehead will have the Independence line and Switzer will have the Democratic and Conservative lines.
Independence voters were impressed by Whitehead, who went door-to-door to woo the members of his new party. He just joined the party, saying he wanted to be independent. Of course, the Independence Party is usually controlled by unions, but every voter interviewed at the polling places Tuesday said they, too, had joined the party for a philosophy of independence. Whitehead connected with them.
“He said he’s going to be a watchdog and an independent thinker. That’s what I want to see,” voter Ron Robillerd said.
Others said they weren’t happy with Switzer, who won her first term in 2017.
“He (Whitehead) has been a good watchdog. I’ll give him a chance to respond to constituents. I’ve not always gotten a response from Ms. Switzer,” said voter Lois Hammond.
Republicans were split on whether to support their longtime representative, Metivier, or to support the man endorsed by the Republican committee, Ryan. While some said they would support the nominee, others said they preferred the man they knew.
“You would think the party would be supporting him a bit more,” said voter Jerry Campbell, who chose Metivier. “He’s been very good for the fire departments. ... That’s what’s needed — they’re all volunteers.”