Democratic, GOP committees preparing candidates to run for special Niskayuna election

Niskayuna Supervisor Yasmine Syed sits at her desk in her office at Niskayuna Town Hall in March.

Niskayuna Supervisor Yasmine Syed sits at her desk in her office at Niskayuna Town Hall in March.

NISKAYUNA – The Town Board could look almost entirely different by the end of this year, following November elections where three board seats are up for grabs, as well as the supervisor’s position.

Supervisor Yasmine Syed announced March 31 she would not be seeking re-election because she is moving to Syracuse to be with her husband who is stationed there. 

Then on June 22 Rosemarie Perez Jaquith announced she would be resigning July 1 and moving with her husband to Washington D.C., where her husband has taken a job. 

On top of that, both Town Board members Denise Murphy McGraw and John Della Ratta are facing opponents for re-election in the fall. 

This leaves Bill McPartlon as the only current board member whose seat is not in play. Because Jaquith resigned three months in advance of a general election, the town also will have to hold a special election to fill the remainder of her term. 

McGraw said she consulted with the county Democratic Committee’s attorney and was told the committee has to name a candidate by July 22 to run in the November election. 

“I asked for something in writing that provides an overview of the process,” McGraw said in an email Tuesday.

More is expected to come later on whom the candidate might be. 

The Republican Committee was told a candidate should be named by July 19, said county Chairman Chris Koetzle. 

“We’re working on it,” he said. “We’re talking to potential candidates now.” 

He said he’s hoping to name someone possibly by mid-July. 

“Certainly after the Fourth, I don’t think we’ll have anything before that,” he said. 

In the meantime it’s unclear who will fill Jaquith’s seat until the end of the year. 

In her resignation speech, Jaquith said the board must pick someone as her replacement until the end of the year. 

The majority of the board is Democrats, meaning it’s likely a Democrat will fill the position. McGraw, who is also the town’s Democratice Committee chairwoman couldn’t be reached for further comment on the topic.

Jaquith said the board has not reached out to see if she had someone in mind to step in. 

Syed said she has not had any discussions with board members either. 

“I’m hoping after the holiday weekend that can happen,” said Syed, who is also the only Republican on the board. “The soonest a replacement would be appointed would be the July 27 town board meeting.”

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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