Schenectady County

Riggi top vote getter in Schenectady council race

The final vote count in the Schenectady mayoral and City Council races are in, with Vince Riggi comi
Schenectady City Councilman Vince Riggi is pictured on Norwood Avenue in this Gazette file photo.
Schenectady City Councilman Vince Riggi is pictured on Norwood Avenue in this Gazette file photo.

The final vote count in the Schenectady mayoral and City Council races are in, with Vince Riggi coming out as the top vote getter in the council race.

After absentee votes were counted, Mayor Gary McCarthy was elected for a second term with a total of 4,662 votes to challenger Roger Hull’s 3,903 votes. That’s compared to 4,394 votes for McCarthy and 3,664 for Hull in the initial count on Election night.

There were four open seats on the City Council. Vince Riggi, the only non-Democrat on the council, was re-elected and received a total of 4,567 votes, one vote more than Councilman Ed Kosiur.

The official results

Here’s a breakdown of the final vote counts in the race for Schenectady mayor and Schenectady City Council.


Gary McCarthy: 4,662

Roger Hull: 3,903

City Council

Vince Riggi: 4,567

Ed Kosiur: 4,566

John Polimeni: 4,116

Leesa Perazzo: 3,809

Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas: 3,646

Michael Cuevas: 3,459

Thomas Verret: 3,421

Ann Rigley: 2,924

Democratic newcomer John Polimeni joined the seven-member council with 4,116 votes. Also, Leesa Perazzo was re-elected with 3,809 votes.

Kosiur and Perazzo have both expressed interest in becoming council president. Current Council President Peggy King did not seek re-election.

The council will vote on the position of council president after members are sworn in at the beginning of 2016.

McCarthy, a Democrat, also defeated Hull in 2011, but by a more narrow margin, only 89 votes.

McCarthy received a majority of the vote on the Democratic ballot line — with 4,147 votes. Hull received 2,998 votes on the Republican line.

Both mayoral candidates and the council candidates also received votes on various minor party lines.

Riggi beat out Kosiur as the top vote-getter after absentee ballots were counted. Riggi got 3,530 votes on the Republican line and 708 on the Conservative line.

Before absentees were counted, Kosiur led Riggi with 4,327 votes to Riggi’s 4,269 votes. Kosiur, who was re-elected after serving one year on the council, received 3,549 votes on the Democratic line and 498 on the Conservative line.

Riggi said Wednesday that he’s pleased to lead the ticket in a Democratic-controlled city with a Democratic enrollment advantage of two-and-a-half-to-one.

“Being an independent and leading the ticket shows that people are paying attention and pleased with what I have accomplished,” he said. “It proves that being elected four years ago wasn’t a fluke.”

Riggi said it’s too early to say if he is considering running for mayor the next time around in 2019, but didn’t rule it out.

“I don’t want to speak to that now because I just got elected to the council for a second term,” he said. “I want to see how these four years go and then I will decide when the time is appropriate. I want to serve my city in the best way I can.”

Kosiur said the final vote count shows that every vote counts in a local race.

“The voters have spoken, and I’m not disappointed,” he said. “I’m very proud of all of the council members that won and, most importantly, the re-election of Gary McCarthy. We had a good, clean campaign.”

Perazzo got re-elected to the council with 163 votes more than her Democratic running mate Karen Zalewsi-Wildzunas.

Republicans Michael Cuevas and Ann Rigley, along with Conservative Tom Verret, did not garner enough votes to be elected. Cuevas received 3,459 votes, Verret got 3,421 votes and Rigley had 2,924 votes.

There were 20 write-in votes in the mayor’s race and also 20 write-in votes in the City Council race.

Chris Gibbs received 9 write-in votes for mayor. Also, Riggi got two votes and Verret got one vote for mayor. A 13-year-old dog named Diamond who was running for mayor got one write-in vote.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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