Peeler leads in race for village of Fonda mayor

Heidi Morrell of Fonda casts her vote for mayor Tuesday. Credit: Peter R. Barber/Staff Photographer

Heidi Morrell of Fonda casts her vote for mayor Tuesday. Credit: Peter R. Barber/Staff Photographer

Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News

Incumbent Mayor William Peeler is leading the vote count by six votes for a potential third term against challenger Danny Boy McLaughlin Sr., but there are potentially 7 absentee ballots that could swing the race.

After in-person votes were counted for Tuesday’s village election Peeler was up 53-47, but seven absentee ballots were sent out for the race. If the ballots are postmarked by Sept. 15 and received by the village within seven days they will count towards the race, giving McLaughlin a mathematical chance at winning the race if he were to get all 7.

Incumbent trustees Timothy Healey, the village’s deputy mayor, received 86 votes and Trustee Lynn Dumar received 84. No write-in votes were received and 14 and 16 voters decided not to vote in favor of Healey or Dumar respectively.

Peeler said he’s been united with his board on virtually every issue throughout his second terms, so he’s not sure why he and McLaughlin effectively split the in-person votes with only a six vote margin of victory for him. He said if he is elected to a third he needs to do a better job of communicating to the village residents what’s going on with the village government. He said under his administration he’s created quarterly newsletters about village business, posted to the village’s website and created a Facebook page for Fonda. He said he wants to explore having live stream videos of the village’s meetings to Youtube.com and possibly other social media sites during his third term, if his lead holds up.

“People have not been getting and hearing what we’ve been doing for the village,” he said.

McLaughlin Sr. said he had a great experience running for village mayor. He said he was trying to call potential voters right up until 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night to get them to come out. He credited Peeler’s stronger relationship with senior residents of the village for his election day lead. He said if he is ultimately defeated in the mayor’s race he isn’t done with the village politics.

“I will be back in 2024,” he said. “And I will be at every village meeting, a thorn in the side. I’ll be there making sure he shows up and he’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing for the village.”

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