Schenectady County

Buffardi beats out Del Gallo in supervisor race

Democrat Harry Buffardi cruised to victory Tuesday, handily defeating embattled incumbent Frank Del

Democrat Harry Buffardi cruised to victory Tuesday, handily defeating embattled incumbent Frank Del Gallo and besting Republican challenger Brian McGarry for the Rotterdam town supervisor’s seat.

Buffardi, the former Schenectady County sheriff, topped McGarry by 868 votes and Del Gallo by more than 2,000, according to unofficial results. He headed a Democratic ticket that nearly swept the town races — incumbent Highway Superintendent James Longo was the only Republican to secure a victory Tuesday evening.

“This has been a long campaign,” Buffardi said after watching the fi nal results come in at Dunzy’s Place. “Tomorrow starts the long haul. We’ve got to start doing the business for the people.”

McGarry was disappointed by the results, but took pride in the campaign he ran this year. Ultimately, he said Buffardi’s name recognition and Del Gallo’s wellfunded campaign made him an underdog in the race.

“I realized it was an uphill battle,” he said. “But I ran as hard a campaign as I could.”

Incumbent Wayne Calder and Conservative running mate Mike Viscusi won both town board seats up for election, beating Joe Villano and Chris Tomeselli, who were the runners up in the race. Ironically, the incoming Town Board will have the same political dynamic as the outgoing one: four Democrats and one Conservative.

William Cooke and Delores Doriguzzi, the Town Board candidates running on Del Gallo’s Rotterdam First party line, secured a very small minority of voters. Del Gallo did not return calls for comment late Tuesday.

Del Gallo was elected into offi ce two years ago as a Conservative running on a Democratic ticket. The slate of candidates swept four incumbents from the all-Republican board, creating a unified block of two Conservatives and two Democrats.

But cooperation among the four new board members didn’t last long. Within six months of taking office, the four began quarreling over a variety of issues.

Board members Nicola DiLeva, Matt Martin and Gerard Parisi formed a multiparty voting block to amend Del Gallo’s 2011 budget to their liking. The three also frequently accused the Del Gallo administration of failing to communicate with them on important town issues.

Calder replaced Parisi in January, but did little to improve discourse on the board. In February, the new troika began passing legislation in direct opposition of Del Gallo and Deputy Supervisor Robert Godlewski.

In other Rotterdam races, former Town Board member Diane Marco, a Democrat, easily defeated Republican Andrea Commarto to secure the remaining two years on Eunice Esposito’s term as town clerk. Longo, the longtime highway superintendent, fended off Democrat Vincent Romano and Rotterdam First candidate Larry Lamora for another two-year term.

Incumbent Town Justice Kevin Mercoglan, a Democrat, cruised to an easy victory against James Bradshaw, the Republicanendorsed candidate.


In Glenville and Scotia, it was a Republican sweep. Republicans Gina Wierzbowski and John Pytlovany were elected to fouryear terms on the Glenville Town Board, receiving 3,587 and 3,976 votes, respectively, defeating lone Democratic challenger John Lockwood, who got 2,447.

Wierzbowski was first appointed to the board in January 2010 to replace Chris Koetzle, who became supervisor, and won election last November for the remaining year of the term. Pytlovany was appointed to the board in March to fill out the term of Mark Quinn, who resigned to take a county job.

Taxes and spending were the dominant issues during this campaign with Lockwood criticizing the two incumbents for the board holding a public hearing on whether to override the tax cap. The board ultimately decided to stay within the cap. He also said during the campaign that a different perspective was needed on the all-Republican board.

Wierzbowski said Tuesday night that she considered the margin of victory a ringing endorsement from voters. “They like what we’re doing and they want us to continue,” she said. Her top priorities are to control spending, seek mandate relief from the state and increase economic development efforts. Pytlovany, who retired as Scotia police chief in 2010, said during the campaign he was looking to bring his experience in budgeting and fiscal issues, as well as his law enforcement background, to the board. He said Tuesday night that party affi liation didn’t matter in this election.

“I think it shows that what the Town Board is doing is correct and it doesn’t matter that they’re all Republican,” he said.

Republican Linda Neals was also reelected in her bid for a third full term with 65 percent of the vote over challenger Michele Fazio-Draves.

In the Scotia Board of Trustee races, Republican Tom Neals was elected for a one-year term with 53 percent of the vote, defeating challenger Rory Fluman.

Tom Neals was on the board from 2006 to 2010 and lost a bid for re-election in a very close race. Mayor Kris Kastberg crossed party lines to appoint Neals back to the board to replace Democrat Andrew Kohout, who resigned in March to become highway superintendent.

Neals said during the campaign he was pleased with the work the village has done to revitalize the riverfront, paving roads and upgrading the Fire Department to a fully-staffed paramedic unit. He wants to be on the board as it is negotiating new police and fi re contracts.


In Princetown, preliminary results had Michael Joyce, incumbent Town Board member Louis Esposito and Town Board hopeful Joseph Jurczynski all winning seats.

But incumbent Nicholas Maura Jr. was only five votes behind Jurczynski, meaning the race is still too close to call.

Joyce maintains a narrow 25-vote lead over incumbent Supervisor Melanie Whitely, a Conservative. Joyce, Esposito and Jurczynski all ran on the Republican ticket and campaigned on a platform of supporting the work of the now-defunct Comprehensive Plan Committee.


In Duanesburg, incumbent Highway Superintendent Steve Perog lost his write-in campaign to challenger William Reed, a Democrat. Reed also topped Republican Town Board member Phil Carlson to secure the position.

Camille Siano Enders, an attorney who lost two previous bids for town justice, beat Seymour VanderVeen, the owner of Seven View Farms. She will replace Justice Rita LaBelle, who did not run for re-election.


In Niskayuna, the Democrats retained their total control of the Niskayuna Town Board with Joe Landry easily winning reelection to a third two-year term as supervisor with nearly 56 percent of the vote, beating challenger Anthony Pennacchio, a health programs manager.

Town Board Julie McDonnell and Liz Orzel Kasper were re-elected to their second and sixth terms, respectively, holding off Republican challengers Richard Fisher and Linda Rizzo.

During the campaign, Landry, 53, pointed to his successful economic development efforts in town to bring the new ShopRite to town and also working to maintain all town services while keeping taxes at a modest level.

Categories: Schenectady County

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