FULTON COUNTY — Gloversville 2nd Ward Councilman Arthur Simonds has filed a petition to run in the Republican Party primary for city councilman-at-large against political newcomer and retired sheriff’s deputy Wayne Peters.
Simonds said he is running because he wants to fulfill the vision of the city of Gloversville’s Comprehensive Plan, which he worked on with incumbent Democratic Mayor Vince DeSantis, who is running for re-election against Republican challenger William Rowback Jr., the city’s current councilman-at-large.
Simonds said he is a proud “Tea Party” Republican, but he doesn’t think state or national politics have much to do with Gloversville politics. He said he’s supporting DeSantis in the November election, and will also likely circulate an independent party petition, possibly under DeSantis’ “Gloversville Party” banner. The “Gloversville Party” is a fusion party that has in the past included both Republicans and Democrats. He said his philosophy for developing the future of Gloversville is closer to DeSantis’, who is also a former Republican. Simonds has sometimes clashed with Rowback on the council.
“I think Vince DeSantis needs some support from the Republican Party going forward,” Simonds said. “And the city and county Republican Party never took the time or energy to ask if either myself, [6th Ward Councilman] Wrandy Siarkowski or [5th Ward Councilman] Jay Zarrelli were interested in running for councilman-at-large. All of us have over 10 years of experience on the council, and nobody was interested in having any of us run. So I’m running.”
Simonds was one of 91 candidates who filed political party petitions with the Fulton County Board of Elections by the deadline on Thursday.
According to the petitions filed, the June 22 Republican primary will feature five contested elections, including:
• County treasurer — Newcomers Cindy L. Albertine and Heather A. Scribner are both running for the nomination.
• Gloversville councilperson-at-large — Simonds will face Peters for the Republican Party nomination. Lashawn Hawkins, a black lives matter activist, has been allowed to run on the Democratic Party line although she was not registered as a Democrat. She filed a Democratic Party petition with the permission of the city Democratic Committee.
• Johnstown city treasurer — Newcomer Thomas D. Herr has filed a petition to run in the primary against 1st Ward Councilman Bradley Hayner. The winner of the Republican primary will face certified public accountant Thomas Suydam, who filed a Democratic Party petition to run for city treasurer in November and faces no primary opposition.
• Broadalbin town supervisor — Newcomer Sean M. Focht and former Gloversville Finance Commissioner Bruce Van Genderen are both running for the Republican nomination for town supervisor. Van Genderen ran for town supervisor as an independent in 2017 against incumbent Supervisor Sheila Perry, who is not running for re-election.
• Oppenheim town supervisor — Cynthia M. Breh and Christopher Coviak are both running for the Republican nomination for town supervisor.
• In the city of Johnstown, 3rd Ward Councilwoman Amy Praught is the only person who filed a petition to run as the Republican Party candidate for mayor; newcomer Michael D. Rose was the only person to file to run as Democrat, setting up a November election contest.
• Gloversville incumbent 3rd Ward Councilwoman Elizabeth Bathchelor filed a petition to run for re-election on the Democratic Party line and will face challenger Dale “Hank” McGrath, who filed his petition to run as a Republican. McGrath is a former Libertarian Party candidate who unsuccessfully ran against DeSantis during the special mayoral election in 2019. McGrath was one of the Republicans who announced his intention to run for office on Feb. 12, but at the time he thought he was running for the 4th Ward council seat, but actually he is running in the 3rd Ward where he lives at 17 Allen St. “That evidently was a mistake, because we were considering what wards would be open at that time and where I was located, and it turns out that I’m located in the 3rd Ward — I jokingly call it the Third World,” he said.
• In Johnstown, incumbent Ward 2 Supervisor Michael Kinowski filed a petition to run as a Republican for re-election, and no Democrat filed to run for that seat. Former candidate for Common Council Scott Miller also filed a petition to run unopposed for the 2nd Ward Common Council seat.
• Stratford Democrat Heather A. Van Denburgh filed a petition to run for town supervisor, as did Republican Richard Fogarty, setting up a November election contest.