FULTON & MONTGOMERY COUNTIES – Tuesday was the deadline to file independent petitions to seek office and 24 independent petitions were filed in Fulton County and eight were filed in Montgomery County, although one was invalidated.
In Fulton County only one of the 24 independent petitions filed was from a candidate not already running on a major party line or in the Republican Party primary June 22. The political newcomer is 23-year Gloversville City DPW worker Joseph Dematties Sr. who is running for 1st Ward councilman under his “Back to Basics” party line.
Incumbent Gloversville 1st Ward Councilwoman Marcia Weiss, running on the Democratic Party line, also filed a petition to run as an independent candidate on the “Gloversville Party” line.
The Gloversville Party is the independent fusion party line created by incumbent Mayor Vince DeSantis, a Democrat who was formerly a registered Republican.
Four candidates filed independent party petitions to run on the Gloversville Party line: DeSantis, Weiss, incumbent Democrat 3rd Ward Councilwoman Elizabeth Batchelor and Republican Arthur Simonds, who currently serves as the 2nd Ward city councilman, but is running for councilman-at-large.
Simonds has said his candidacy is aimed in part toward rallying Republican support for DeSantis. Simonds’ is set to square off against political newcomer Republican Wayne Peters in the Republican Party primary June 22 for councilman-at-large, but regardless of who wins the Republican primary both candidates will face each other again in November, because Peters also filed an independent party petition to run on the “Back Red & Blue” line.
William Rowback Jr., the current councilman-at-large, is running for mayor against DeSantis as the Republican candidate, and he also filed an independent party petition to run along with Peters on the “Back Red & Blue” party line.
Republican candidate Dale “Hank” McGrath, of 17 Allen St., filed an independent party petition to run on the “Glove Strong” party line for 3rd Ward council member against Batchelor. McGrath is a former Libertarian Party candidate who unsuccessfully ran against DeSantis during the special mayoral election in 2019, but has since joined the Republican Party and will have the GOP line for Gloversville’s 3rd Ward council race.
In the Town of Oppenheim both Republican candidates for town supervisor Cynthia Breh and Christopher Coviak filed independent party petitions, ensuring a general election contest in November. Breh’s independent party is called “Life is Good” and Coviak’s is called “Pro Change.”
In the Montgomery County City of Amsterdam resident Christian Rivera attempted to file an independent party petition to run on the “Christian River” party line for 1st Ward Alderman, but his petition was thrown out after election commissioners determined he had not included his full address on the form.
Democratic Election Commissioner Terry Bieniek said Christian Rivera only listed his address as “130 Princeton St.” without indicating his home was in the city of Amsterdam. Bieniek said Rivera not having a complete address on his petition invalidates the 32 signatures he needed to get on the ballot as an independent.
“It’s a fatal flaw,” Bieniek said. “He came in late [Tuesday], and we didn’t review it until [Wednesday] morning, and obviously we found that fatal flaw, so we sent him a letter and sent an email to him, and he didn’t respond back, so I don’t know if he didn’t get it yet or didn’t see it or what. But, it would be almost impossible to get a whole petition done by 5 p.m. [Wednesday].”
Had he been able to run, Rivera would have faced political newcomer Kelly Quist-Demars who is running for the 1st Ward seat on the Democratic Party line. Incumbent Republican 1st Ward Alderman Patrick Russo announced in March that he would not seek reelection.
Bieniek said a similar situation occurred with Martha N. Mancini who attempted to file an independent party petition to run for St. Johnsville Town Board last week, but election officials told her her address was not complete on her form. Bieniek said the county board of elections consulted with the New York State Board of Elections and determined that Mancini had to do an entirely new petition because her address was incomplete on the first one, but because she had attempted to file earlier than the deadline she had enough time to complete a new correct form, which she filed by Tuesday. Mancini is running for town board on the independent “Patriot” party line.
These are the other independent party petitions that were filed in Montgomery County: Dino Polsinelli, running on the “Your choice” line for Town of Charleston Supervisor; Jake Krohn, running on the “Libertarian” party line for Florida town council; Rosalie S. Farina running on the “Unity” party line for Glen Town Council; Louise Robusto, running on the “For the Town” line for St. Johnsville Town Council; Anthony R. Bruno Jr. running on the “RD 2 The Future” line for Mohawk Town Board; and Bruce R. Dye, running on the “Judicial Party” line for St. Johnsville Town Board.