Schenectady County

Democrats add strength in Schenectady County Legislature

Democrats appear to have picked up another seat on the Schenectady County Legislature, and now contr

Democrats appear to have picked up another seat on the Schenectady County Legislature, and now control 13 of the body’s 15 seats, according to unofficial results Tuesday night.

Democrats won the seat once held by Republican Minority Leader Robert Farley of Glenville, who chose not to seek re-election this year after 18 years on the Legislature; at one time he was majority leader. The remaining two seats are held by a Conservative who caucuses with the Democrats and one Republican.

The Republican, Jim Buhrmaster, won re-election to a third four-year term. “I am pleased. This was probably the toughest county legislative race I ever had. It turned out to be mean-spirited and they [Democrats] threw out a lot of misinformation,” he said.

Capturing Farley’s seat was Democrat Tom Constantine, making his first bid at public office.

Republican hopeful Peter Guidarelli ran neck-and-neck with Democrat Robert Hoffman throughout most of the race, giving Republicans hope they would keep two seats on the Legislature. In the end, however, Hoffman outpolled Guidarelli, a former chairman of the Legislature.

“We chose to run a clean and factual campaign and in the last week my opponents broke their promise to run a clean campaign,” Guidarelli said. “They sent out a lot of misleading literature with a lot of lies. If that is the difference in winning and losing, I would rather lose every time. I am disappointed in the character of my opponents in how they chose to take victory.”

Majority Leader Gary Hughes, D-Schenectady, who handily won re-election, said the victory means voters “gave us a good, strong mandate on the positions we have taken on leadership that the Democrats are providing.”

GOP outgunned

Tom Buchanan, chairman of the Schenectady County Republican Committee, said the party had hoped to maintain two seats on the board. But he acknowledged that Republicans were facing a well-funded organization. “We are up against a machine that raised $120,000 in last election cycle,” he said.

Democrat Catherine Gatta, who captured the seat once held by former Legislature Chairwoman Susan Savage, a Democrat, said she feels excited to be able to complete the remaining two years on the term. “I really enjoyed being on the Legislature. I think I could do more at county level than at the village level,” she said.

Gatta also serves as a trustee on the Scotia Village Board. She said she will resign that seat when her new term begins Jan. 1 on the Legislature.

Official tallies

District 1, which consists of the northern half of the city of Schenectady. Voters had to select two candidates:

• Incumbent Democrat Michael Petta: 2,284, or 30 percent of total.

• Democrat Robert Hoffman: 1,920, or 26 percent.

• Republican Peter Guidarelli: 1,836 votes, 24 percent.

• Republican Rich Patierne: 1,443, or 19 percent.

District 2, which consists of the southern part of the city. Voters had to select two candidates:

• Incumbent Democrat Jeffrey McDonald: 3,176, or 40 percent of total.

• Incumbent Democrat Gary Hughes: 2,856, or 36 percent.

• Republican Patricia Zollinger: 1,840, or 23 percent.

District 3, which consists of Glenville and Niskayuna. Voters had to select two candidates for four-year terms and one candidate for a two-year term.

Four-year terms:

• Democrat Thomas Constantine: 5,724, or 29 percent of the total.

• Incumbent Republican James Buhrmaster: 5,576, or 28 percent.

• Republican Michael Dieterich: 4,370, or 22 percent.

• Democrat Cathryn Bern-Smith: 4,178, or 21 percent of the vote.

Two-year term:

• Democrat Catherine Gatta: 5,986, or 58 percent of the total.

• Republican Kurt Semon: 4,267, or 42 percent.

District 4, consisting of Rotterdam, Princetown and Duanesburg. Voters had to select two candidates:

• Incumbent Democrat Angelo Santabarbara: 6,241, or 33 percent of the total.

• Incumbent Democrat Anthony Jasenski: 5,620, or 30 percent.

• Republican Stanley Marchinkowski: 3,490, or 19 percent.

• Republican Wayne Abbott: 3,292, or 18 percent.

A total of 89,673 people voted countywide, casting 30,393 ballots. The turnout was 31 percent.

Categories: Schenectady County

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