WARRENSBURG - The primary elections in Warren County yielded surprises Sept. 15, as challengers surpassed incumbents in several of the races.
Also, in several contests in the region, several popular politicians - lacking backup party endorsements- were knocked off the November ballot.
In Warrensburg, Former Town Supervisor and funeral home owner Maynard D. Baker (R,I) won a surprising 300-271 margin over incumbent Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty (R,C), long-time public servant, for a four-year term. Baker campaigned on cutting spending and taxes. Both are back in November, as Geraghty has the Conservative Party endorsement. Geraghty served for many years as a town conuncilman before winning the Supervisor post four years ago.
In the town of Bolton, Republican Ronald Conover (R,Ic.), a retired city planner and a newcomer to politics, received 350 votes, winning a hefty margin of 350 to 118 over former town supervisor Alexander "Zandy" Gabriels.
For Warrensburg Town Board, funeral home owner John Alexander (R) led three candidates with 310 votes, with former town Planning Board member and chair Bryan Rounds (R) a close second at 307, followed by insurance executive Joseph Barlow, R,C,I) with 254 votes. All will be back in November.
Competition was heated in Lake George, where five Republicans were vying to be their party's representative for two Town Board seats.
Incumbent Vinnie Crocitto (R,Ic), councilman since 2002, topped the roster with 263 votes, followed by a surprisingly strong showing by former Planning and Zoning coordinator Fran Heinrich (R,Ic) with 209, former Town Board member George McGowan (R,C) with 187, followed by local businessman John Carr (R) at 163, and former Town and Janie Green (R,D) with 68. Since he had no supplementary endorsement, Carr's name won't be on the ballot in November, but the rest will be back. In the general election, they'll be joined in the race by Marisa Muratori, a former Lake George Village trustee who is a Republican, but running under a Democratic label.
Lake George's supervisor race was uncontested in the Primary. But in November, Councilman Frank McCoy (R) will face former Town Supervisor Dennis L. Dickinson (D).
In Thurman, four G.O.P candidates were seeking two open board seats.
Former Warrensburg Central School Athletic Director Albert Vasak (R) appointed this summer to fill a term, garnered the heaviest support with 69 votes, followed by Incumbent Charles Bills (R) with 54 votes, and Rebecca DeSourdy (R) with 35 votes, and former Town Justice candidate Glenda Duell (R,I) with 33 votes. DeSoiurdy, with her single party label, won't be on the ballot in November.
For the Thurman Supervisor post, there was no primary, but incumbent Red Pitkin (Ic., I) will be challenged in November by Randy Oppitz (D,C) and assessor Thomas Birdsall (R).
In Stony Creek, Incumbent Town Supervisor Frank Thomas (R,Ic), buried Tara Tremaine Fisher (R,C) with a vote of 150 to 52. For the Superintendent of Highways race, incumbent Neil Bradley (R, I) received 120 votes, topping challenger Ian Thomas (R,I) who had 85. But with those independent party affiliations, all will be on the ballot again in November. For the town board, challenger Harry Paul Gill (R,I) received 110 votes, edging out incumbents Bill Liebl with 106 and Warren Braman with 100.
In Bolton, unlike the race for the Supervisor post, incumbents held their own. For two town board seats, Gregory R. Smith (R) had the strongest showing with 318 votes, followed by incumbent Owen James Maranville (R, Ic) with 287 and challenger Scott P. Anderson (R) with 212. Apparently, Anderson is now off the November ballot, but Ed Corcoran (D) joins the fray.
For Town Justice, incumbent Harry Demarest (R) received 296 votes, retaining his party endorsement against a challenge mounted by Richard D. Sammis (R) with 134 votes. For Highway Superintendent, incumbent Timothy A. Coon (R) was victorious with 264 votes, rebuffing a challenge by William A. Sherman (R, I) who received 209 votes. In November, Anton Cooper (C) joins the race.
In Horicon, Incumbent town board member Frank L. Hill (R) was the first choice with 165 votes, followed by incumbent Robert E. Olson (R) with 148 and challenger Gary F. Frenz (R) with 110 - so this puts Frenz off the ballot in November.
In Johnsburg, there's no primary for town board. In November, two Incumbents Ron Vanselow (D) and Arnold Stevens (R), will be challenged by Roger Mosher (I).
The Highway Superintendent post did have primary race - Daniel B. Hitchcock (R,I) took top honors in the race with 126 votes, surpassing Frederick T. Comstock (R,I) with 68.