Primary election results on Tuesday offered some surprises throughout Warren County as voters decided who would be on the November ballot to represent various parties.
In Thurman, former Town Supervisor John Haskell scored an apparent victory over incumbent Supervisor Evelyn Wood by a wide margin to secure the Republican line, and in neighboring Warrensburg, incumbent town supervisor Kevin Geraghty topped former town supervisor Maynard Baker by a machine vote of 180 to 150 to be the official G.O.P. candidate. The results are not final, as there are up to 48 absentee ballots to be counted in Warrensburg, and a fair number not yet tallied in Thurman as well.
The two contests will be repeated in November, as Wood has secured the endorsement of the Democrat, Conservative and Independence parties, and Baker has secured an independent line.
Wood said that although the vote Tuesday night showed a large majority for her opponent, November could have a far different outcome.
“Only half of the Republican voters turned out,” she said. She added that her support was strong throughout the entire electorate, and in November the independents and Democrats would be casting their votes primarily for her.
“When everyone can vote, a different story will unfold,” she said.
Wood said she was undeterred in her effort to be re-elected.
“We’re carrying on, moving into the next phase of the election cycle,” she continued.
Haskell said he was pleased with the results, and he thanked local citizens who’d campaigned hard for him as well as two town board candidates who also called for change in town government — Daniel Smith and Mike Eddy. They also scored apparent victories. Smith came out on top with 188 votes, Eddy received 145 votes, and incumbent Charles Bills was last with 88.
Haskell said that his win — and the victories — indicated the voters wanted a town board that was responsive to their will.
“When the people give you a directive, you follow through with their wishes, even when you don’t agree with them,” he said.
Haskell, Eddy and Smith announced their candidacies early this year after the town board cut funding for the local ambulance squad and eliminated curbside garbage collection, which the board said was necessary to avoid huge tax increases. These issues prompted a record number of local residents to attend town meetings, and most all voicing opinions disagreed with the board’s actions. Haskell said Tuesday night that if he is elected, he would be exploring the option of restoring funding for both.
Haskell’s ability to assume office, if elected, has not yet been settled. Haskell was removed from his supervisor post after his 2008 conviction for Defrauding the Government, a felony. Wood has contended that Haskell is unable to hold office because of that conviction, and she has said she would challenge his ability to do so, if necessary. Legal experts are divided on the issue. Haskell said Tuesday he has consulted with experts on the issue, and they say he is eligible.
Smith thanked local citizens for their support.
“The people of Thurman are looking for a change, and I hope we can do it for them,” he said.
“The board is not listening to the concerns of the people,” Eddy said. “This is a matter of getting funding for the hometown ambulance squad back and getting the heart back in Thurman.”
In Lake George, newcomer Nancy Stannard secured a spot on the Republican line, edging out former county Public Works chief Fred Austin, while incumbent Vinnie Crocitto came out on top with a comfortable margin in the three-way vote for two board seats. The vote tally was 286 for Crocitto, 193 for Stannard and 173 for Austin. The primary results could change as 46 absentee ballots remain to be counted. All three will be on the ballot in November regardless, as Austin has secured an Independence Party endorsement. They’ll be joined by Kevin J. Mulcahy, an independent candidate for the seat.
Crocitto said he was pleased with the vote.
“I’m definitely here to listen to the people, and involve the community in the decision-making,” he said.
Stannard said that her campaign issues were well received by the voters: making sure the county and state pay their fair share of curbing invasive species in Lake George, and that the town repairs deteriorating infrastructure, while avoiding purchase of more property.
“I’m looking forward to November, she said.
In Queensbury, incumbent Republican county at-large supervisors Mark Westcott and Matthew Sokol led a five-way race for four Republican positions. Westcott, a political iconoclast who has challenged the airport runway extension and other county expenditures, won 1,000 votes, the most in the field. Sokol followed with 901, Douglas N. Beaty had 812, Rachel Seeber got 811 and Queensbury Town Supervisor Ron Montesi was last with 761. Because of multiple endorsements, all will be back in November, joined by incumbents David Strainer, (Dem., Cons.), and Bill Mason (Dem., Cons.) as well as W. Dean Boecher (Dem.) and William Brown (Dem., Cons.) in a nine-way race.
For the Republican line for Queensbury Town board’s Ward 4 seat, William Van Ness defeated incumbent Tim Brewer by a vote of 331 to 147. Brewer will be back in November as the Independence Party candidate, alongside Democratic candidate Jennifer Switzer.
In Bolton, interim Town Clerk Jodi Connally defeated challenger Deanna L. Roessler 291 to 81 for the post of permanent Town Clerk in a Republican Primary vote.
For the Republican line for Bolton Highway Superintendent, William A. Sherman received 190 votes while Matthew R. Coon received 183.
In Lake Luzerne, Mark Mclain topped William Barry McMahon with a vote of 88 to 64 for a town board seat.
For Warren County Judge & Surrogate, incumbent John S. Hall Jr. (Dem., Con.), received 41 votes, and challenger Ted Wilson (Rep., Con., Indpc.) received 112 in an Independence Primary election.