Harrietstown Supervisor candidates Tom Catillaz (D) and Bob Bevilacqua (R).
Warnings of impending doom as Hurricane Sandy roared into the Northeast Oct. 29 prompted the cancellation of a second debate between the two candidates for Harrietstown supervisor.
Therefore, the Valley News was not able to print a story about a debate, only reflect on what’s been an extraordinary race between Harrietstown Councilman Bob Bevilacqua (R) and Saranac Lake Village Trustee Tom Catillaz (D).
Since being chosen by their respective parties in August, the race had been intense, yet civil. For seven weeks, they pressed the flesh, updated their Facebook pages, made campaign videos, and issued numerous press releases with platform rhetoric about issues such as the Adirondack Regional Airport, the town’s business park and taxes. “Tax Cap” Tom and “No Nickname” Bob fought the good fight through public appearances, door-to-door trips around town and in the media.
But that all stopped on Oct. 9.
Catillaz suspended active campaigning on that date so he could deal with a serious family medical situation out of state. With a family member on his mind, there was no time or inclination to think about a campaign. The first debate scheduled for Oct. 16 was subsequently canceled.
Even after the announcement, Catillaz’s campaign signs remained intact around town and he stayed on the ballot while he took some time off to deal with the family crisis.
Then on Oct. 19, Catillaz jumped back into the race with the enthusiasm of a teenager. After 10 days, things on the home front had quieted down, and he was ready to ramp up his campaign.
With the cancellation of the second debate on Oct. 29, the debate organizers, Valley News and Adirondack Daily Enterprise, had to settle for a sit-down editorial board-style interview with the two candidates on Nov. 1 at the ADE offices in Saranac Lake. Although it’s too late for the print version, we plan on uploading video of the interview online at thevalleynewsadk.com.
Bob Bevilacqua is the owner of Carcuzzi Car Care Center in Saranac Lake. He spent five years on the Saranac Lake School Board, including one year as president of the board. He spent some time on the Harrietstown Board of Assessment Review. He was elected Harrietstown councilman in 2007, earning the most amount of votes in a field of four candidates.
Tom Catillaz works at Consolidated Electrical Distributors (CED) Twin State in Saranac Lake. He has served 12 years on the Saranac Lake Village Board. He was first elected as a trustee in 1996, re-elected in 1998 and then elected mayor in 1999, serving a total of seven years at the helm of the village, deciding not to run in 2006. He was again elected as a trustee in 2010.
Even though it’s been a roller coaster of an election, Bevilacqua and Catillaz are trying to fill the unexpired term of former Supervisor Larry Miller, who resigned in the spring. That’s only for one year, so we could possibly see a repeat of the Bob-versus-Tom race in 2013.