Dark-horse candidates for public offices throughout Warren County surfaced this week as they submitted independent party petitions for a variety of positions in the county’s 11 towns. The deadline to submit the petitions was 5 p.m. Tuesday Aug. 20.
In the contest for two town board seats in Lake George, Kevin J. Mulcahy emerged to challenge incumbent Vinnie Crocitto (Rep., Indpc.), former county Public Works chief Fred Austin (Rep., Indpc.) and Nancy Stannard (Rep.) in a four-way competition. Mulcahy submitted his petitions Monday Aug. 19.
In Bolton, Kam Hoopes (Ind.), a former local Zoning Board of Appeals member and retired Finch-Pruyne executive, is challenging Ron Conover (Rep., Indpc.), the two-term incumbent supervisor who is a retired Director of Planning and Community Development for Rome, NY, and has served in the Oneida County Legislature. Hoopes submitted his petitions on Tuesday, the deadline.
In Horicon, Georgia A. McMeekin submitted petitions Monday Aug. 19 to be an independent candidate for town board. She will be challenging long-term board members Frank Hill (Rep., Indpc.) and Robert Olson (Rep.) in a three-way race for two board seats. Georgia McMeekin is the wife of Gary McMeekin, the long-time Horicon town zoning officer who was fired last October by the town board after he was accused of altering documents submitted to the Adirondack Park Agency without approval from other town officials. Relatively new town board member Matthew J. Simpson (Rep., Indpc.) is running unchallenged for the position of town supervisor, with long-time supervisor Ralph Bentley slated for retirement.
In Lake George, Town Supervisor Dennis Dickinson (Rep., Indpc.) is running unopposed; and in Stony Creek, long-time Supervisor Frank E. Thomas (Rep.) is also unchallenged.
But in neighboring Warrensburg, Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty (Rep., Cons., Indpc.) — who serves as the county’s Chairman of the Board of Supervisors — is being challenged by former town supervisor Maynard Baker Rep., Ind.), who gave Geraghty a formidable opposition for the post in 2009.
In Johnsburg, Town Supervisor Ron Vanselow (Dem., Cons.) is being challenged by Curtis C. Richards, who filed his independent petitions Aug. 14. For Johnsburg Town Clerk, present Deputy Town Clerk Jo Ann Smith (Rep., Ind.) is facing opposition from Sharalee Falzerano (Dem., Ind.), a proprietor of Goose Pond Inn.
For two seats on the Johnsburg town board, Republicans Katharine Nightingale and Arnold Stevens are being challenged by Robert Nessle (Ind.).
For Johnsburg Town Justice, there’s a three-way race between incumbent Vincent Schiavone (Rep.), Howard E. Tucker Sr. (Rep.) and James W. Baker, who submitted his independent petitions Aug. 13.
In Queensbury, it’s a political free-for-all, where there’s a nine-way race for four at-large seats on the Warren County Board of Supervisors. Competing are incumbents David J. Strainer (Dem., Cons.), Matthew Sokol (Rep.), Mark Westcott (Rep., Cons., Ind.), Bill Mason (Dem., Cons.), challenged by present Queensbury Town Supervisor Ron Montesi (Rep.,Ind.), W. Dean Boecher (Dem.), William Brown (Dem., Cons.), Rachel Seeber (Rep., Ind.), and Douglas N. Beaty (Rep., Ind.).
Also vying for posts on the county Board of Supervisors — Glens Falls Ward 4 seat — are: incumbent William A. Loeb (Dem., Workers, Ind.), challenged by James Brock (Rep., Cons, Indpc.).
For the position of Queensbury Town Supervisor, John Strough (Dem., Cons.) is unopposed.
For Queensbury Town board, Brian Clements (Rep., Cons., Indpc.) and Harrison Freer (Dem.) are seeking the open Ward 2 seat. For the open Ward 3 post, former board member Douglas K. Irish (Rep., Cons., Indpc.) is challenged by Richard F. Garrand Jr. (Dem.). For the Ward 4 seat, competing are incumbent Tim Brewer (Rep., Indpc.) challenged by former at-large county supervisor William
Van Ness (Rep.) and Jennifer Switzer (Dem.), who serves as the chief financial officer of EDC Warren County.
In Thurman, Town Supervisor Evelyn Wood (Rep., Dem., Cons. Indpc.) is challenged by former town supervisor John Haskell (Rep., Ind.) whose 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 has garnered support among citizens this spring based on his proposal to reinstate town funding for the embattled local ambulance squad and restoring municipal trash collection in town. Wood and the town board voted against funding the ambulance squad in late 2012 after the squad’s financial needs increased substantially, and regional emergency officials questioned the local agency’s financial viability. Wood and the board also voted to discontinue municipal trash collection, based on the concept that local landowners who generated no trash were paying toward other residents’ trash collection and disposal. Retaining both the trash collection and funding for the ambulance corps would have prompted a tax increase of more than 20 percent in 2013, according to estimates.
Running for two seats on the Thurman Town Board are: incumbent Charles Bills (Rep.), challenged by contractor Mike Eddy (Rep., Ind. ) who has voiced support for Haskell, and newcomer Daniel E. Smith (Rep., Ind.).
For Thurman Highway Superintendent, incumbent Patrick S. Wood (Rep.) is challenged by Howard Cook (Rep., Ind.).
In Bolton, interim Town Clerk Jodi Connally (Rep., Ind.) is to be challenged for the permanent clerk post by Deanna L. Roessler (Rep.). Connally was appointed interim clerk by the town board after the unexpected death this spring of beloved long-time Town Clerk Patricia Steele.
For Bolton Highway Superintendent, there’s a three-way race, with the pending retirement of Tim Coon, who’s held the post for years. Seeking the post are William A. Sherman (Rep., Dem.), as well as Matthew R. Coon (Rep.) — Tim’s brother — and Anton F. Cooper (Cons.)
In Hague, Democrats Mary Ann Eaton and Ginger Henry Keunzel are competing against incumbent Martin H. Fitzgerald II and Alvin B. Frasier, both Republicans, for two town board seats. Town Supervisor Edna Frasier (Rep.) faces no opposition.
In Lake Luzerne, Mark Mclain (Rep.) and William Barry McMahon (Rep.) are squaring off for a town board seat.
For Warren County Judge & Surrogate, incumbent John S. Hall Jr. (Dem., Con., Indpc.) is challenged by Ted Wilson (Rep., Con., Indpc.).