Capital Region

Primaries for Schenectady mayor, Fulton County sheriff, others across region on Tuesday

Schenectady mayor and various seats in Schenectady, Saratoga, Fulton and Montgomery counties are at stake
Voters at Schalmont High School in 2014
Voters at Schalmont High School in 2014

CAPITAL REGION – This Tuesday will be the state’s Primary Day, with political parties deciding their internal disputes over the nominations for elected offices from mayor to sheriff to town clerk.

There’s a countywide sheriff’s race in Fulton County, and local contests of one kind or another there and in Schenectady, Saratoga, and Montgomery counties. Locally, only Schoharie County has no primaries.

Polling places will be open noon to 9 p.m., the last time polls will open so late. Voting reform enacted by the state Legislature earlier this year includes having primary day voting hours start at 6 a.m., the same as during a general election.

Those who win on Tuesday will be guaranteed a spot on the November general election ballot, and in some cases — including Schenectady mayor and many small-town offices — one political party is so dominant that winning the primary virtually assures election.

Among the high-profile races is the Democratic contest for mayor in the city of Schenectady, with community activist Thearse B. McCalmon challenging eight-year incumbent Gary R. McCarthy as he seeks his third four-year term. It’s the only primary in the city.

Elsewhere in Schenectady County:

— In Duanesburg, there is also a Republican primary between Thomas G. Collins and William J. Wenzel Jr. to fill a Town Board vacancy, after Randy Passonno resigned last year. Charles Leoni is filling the vacant seat by appointment, but not running.

Jennifer Barnes is challenging incumbent Town Board members Francis R. Potter and John D. Ganther as they see re-election on the Independence line. Potter and Ganther already have the Republican line.


— In Saratoga Springs, there is a Democratic primary for city finance commissioner between incumbent Michele Madigan and challenger Patricia Morrison.

— In Ballston, there are Republican primaries. Eric Connolly is challenging incument town supervisor Timothy Szczepaniak, while incumbents William Goslin and Charles Curtiss and challenger Peter Solberg are in a a three-way primary for two seats on the Town Board.

— In a Milton Republican primary, Town Board member Benny Zlotnick is challenging current town supervisor Scott Ostrander, while a slate of incumbent Town Board member Barbara Kerr and write-in candidate Ryan Isachsen is challenging Megan Soden and Antonio Bianchi, the Town Board candidates endorsed by Milton’s Republican Committee.

— In a Republican primary in Mechanicville, former city accounts commissioner Mark Seber is challenging the incumbent accounts commissioner, Jennifer A. Dunn.

— In Corinth, there is a three-way Republican contest for two town justice positions. The candidates are Peter H. Gunning, Michael T. Woodcock and Lane J. Schermerhorn.


In a countywide race, incumbent sheriff Richard C. Giardino is being challenged by Donald W. VanDeusen III. Giardino is a former district attorney and county court judge, while VanDeusen is a former Gloversville police chief.

— In Broadalbin, there will be a Republican primary between Junell M. Pasquarelli, David Bardascini, Leo A. VanAllen and Cynthia L. McClarren for two Town Board seats.

— In Mayfield, Republican voters will also chose between Jeffrey P. Martin Jr. and Melvyn Dopp for town highway superintendent.

— In the city of Johnstown’s First Ward, Republicans will decide between Bradley A. Hayner and David Sagan for a city councilman nomination.

— In Caroga, there’s a Republican contest between incumbent James K. Selmser and Scott M. Horton for town supervisor, and among Donald R. Travis, Richard Sturgess, Kent G. Kirch and Jeremy Manning for two Town Board seats.

— In Bleeker, Republicans will pick between Paul S. Brink and Robert J. Young for highway superintendent.

— In Oppenheim, Republican voters will chose between Carolyn E. Johnson, Robert K. Pierce and Robert G. Norris Jr. for two Town Board seats, and between Gloria J. Brys and Kristy B. Buccolo for town clerk.


In a countywide Conservative party primary, John R. DeStefano and Ariel Santiago are competing for county coroner.

Amsterdam mayor Michael Villa, a Republican, faces a contest for the Independence party ballot line from Michael Cinquanti.

— In Palatine, there’s a Republican town supervisor contest between incumbent Bill MacLauchlin and Christopher C. Novak, a member of the Town Board.

— In Root, there are four Republicans running for two Town Board nominations. They are Donald Bramer, Eyn C. Feddenden, Peter W. Rebokis and John VanKersen.

— In St. Johnsville, there’s a Republican contest for town highway superintendent between William L. Putman and Maynard J. Baker.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News, Saratoga County, Schenectady County

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