2 Schenectady primaries to be determined by absentee ballots

Farley, Mootooveren all but assured to appear on Working Families Party line
The Schenectady County Board of Elections office.
The Schenectady County Board of Elections office.

SCHENECTADY — A pair of party lines in this year’s City Council race won’t be finalized until Monday, with absentee ballots factoring into the Green and Working Families parties’ primaries.

Following the city’s lone contested primary Tuesday, candidates Damonni Farley and John Mootooveren are all but assured to appear on the Working Families Party line in November, while Marion Porterfield could still be bumped by a write-in candidate. Write-in ballots were counted Thursday, and affidavit and absentee ballots will be counted Monday morning.

Farley and Mootooveren secured 36 and 29 votes each, respectively, while Porterfield received 19 votes in Tuesday’s primary.

Receiving write-in votes were Mohamed Hafez, with 11; Rima Cerrone, with seven; and Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas, with five. All three of those candidates will already appear elsewhere on the ballot in November. There were also two blank write-in ballots, said Darlene Harris and Amy Hild, Schenectady County’s bipartisan election commissioners.

There are nine absentee and six affidavit ballots to be counted Monday, the commissioners said. Based on the current totals, only Porterfield could be knocked off by one of the write-in candidates.

There are three open council seats up for grabs this year, meaning the top three finishers appear on the final ballot under the Working Families Party.

The Working Families Party was the lone contested primary in this year’s City Council race. The party endorsed Farley, Mootooveren and Porterfield, each of whom appeared on the ballot.

Republican-endorsed candidate Cerrone filed an “opportunity-to-ballot” petition in July, which opened up the write-in slot. No candidate mustered enough votes to be one of the top three finishers, however.

The Green Party also held a primary Tuesday, though no candidate appeared on the ballot. As a result, the top three write-in recipients will appear on the party line in November. That result will depend on the results of eight absentee ballots, after 14 candidates received write-in votes, with no candidate getting more than three votes.

Vote counts must still be certified to become official.

Outside of the Working Families and Green parties, the candidates on other party lines are expected to be as follows, according to information on the county Board of Elections website:

  • Democratic Party: Mootooveren, Porterfield, Zalewski-Wildzunas
  • Republican Party: Cerrone, Hafez
  • Independence Party: Mootooveren, Porterfield, Zalewski-Wildzunas
  • Conservative Party: Cerrone, Mootooveren, Zalewski-Wildzunas
  • Women’s Equality Party: Zalewski-Wildzunas
  • Reform Party: Cerrone, Hafez


In Niskayuna, write-in candidates, who were also Republicans, emerged victorious, after those ballots were counted Thursday.

On Tuesday, Conservative Party voters could either vote for incumbent Joe Landry or write in another candidate. Landry received 26 votes, and write-in candidate Yasmine Syed, also a Republican, received 53 votes.

The Conservative party choices for Town Board included Denise Murphy McGraw, Anthony Simone, John Della Ratta and a write-in option. Simone and write-in candidate Tom McGarry captured the most votes — 55 and 49, respectively — and will appear on the Conservative Party line in November as a result, pending primary election certification.

The Reform Party primary line also included the option to vote for McGarry or a write-in candidate. Write-in votes were cast for five people, and McGarry and incumbent Murphy McGraw earned the most, with 16 going to McGarry and 31 going to Murphy McGraw.

“There is a groundswell of support among conservative voters for Republicans Syed, Simone and McGarry,” Schenectady County Republican Committee Chairman Michael Cuevas said. “It reflects what we believed: that Conservative voters respond well to our ideas of fiscal conservatism and responsible growth.” 

Election commissioners will count absentee ballots and affidavits Monday. There are 42 absentee ballots and seven affidavits countywide that need to be counted

After absentee ballots and affidavits are counted, the results will be certified and the board of elections will begin preparing ballots for the Nov. 7 general election.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

Leave a Reply