Niskayuna candidate loses party endorsement over Facebook posts

Niskayuna Town Board candidate Susan Walker

Niskayuna Town Board candidate Susan Walker

The Schenectady County Conservative Party has rescinded its endorsement of Niskayuna Town Board candidate Susan Walker following concerns about posts she made on Facebook. 

This follows the party’s denouncement of Rotterdam candidate Joe Mastroianni’s Facebook posts regarding misinformation about the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Unlike Walker, Mastroianni was not endorsed by the Conservative Party.

In multiple posts, Walker compared the handling of the COVID pandemic to the Nazi era, including posting a meme that said, “It’s almost fall. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back to 1942.” In another comment on a post she made about the coronavirus pandemic, she said, “Oh they have more of new Greek varieties lined up into 2022. They want to destroy our economy permanently – Full blown Nanni State.” Some posts cast doubt on Capitol Police officers’ suicides following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Walker, who is also running on the Republican Party line, did not return a request for comment Thursday on the Conservative Party rescinding her endorsement. Niskayuna Republican Party chairperson Hannie Santana also did not return a request for comment. 

Conservative Party Chairman James Barrett said the party was unaware of the posts made by Susan Walker because she was posting under the name Susan Jean. 

“Any vetting wouldn’t have uncovered this information,” Barrett said in an emailed statement. “Neither the executive board nor I were aware of these posts at the time of endorsements. If we were, we NEVER would have endorsed her. I have reached out to Ms. Walker directly, as well as the county chairperson [of the Republican Party] Darlene Harris to inform them that the Schenectady County Conservative Party rescinds her endorsement and denounces her campaign.”

In an email sent Monday, Nick Buonanno, the vice president of the Schenectady County Young Democrats, criticized Walker’s social media posts for comparing the nation’s pandemic response to Nazi-era Germany, not supporting mask or vaccine mandates, protesting critical race theory in Niskayuna schools and questioning the validity of officer suicides after the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

Buonanno said the posts and statement Walker made in a June 28 Gazette article about critical race theory were “every bit as egregious – or maybe more so – than the guy in Rotterdam.”

Buonanno is also the communication director for the Niskayuna Town Democratic Committee.

He said he did not share the posts with either the county or the town Democratic committees. He declined further comment.

The images speak for themselves,” he said.

Walker on Wednesday said she contracted COVID and that she recovered from what she considers a serious illness.

“I’m not against people getting vaccinated, as most of the members of my family are vaccinated and many people undoubtedly should be vaccinated and benefit from it,” she said in an emailed statement. “However, I am against mandates as everyone’s personal history is different, and it’s a personal choice. One that is not decided by a bureaucracy or mandate.”

Walker did not indicate whether she was vaccinated.

Walker was pictured June 15 in a Liz Joy for New York post with other mothers from Niskayuna who were protesting mask and vaccine mandates, as well as the perception that the district was going to be including critical race theory in its curriculum. The idea of critical race theory, which has been taught for decades in college classrooms, asserts that racism, which intersects with other identities, including sexuality, gender identity, and others, is a social construct embedded in legal systems and policies and not a product of individual bias or prejudice.

In June, Walker accused the Niskayuna school board of pushing critical race theory onto students. 

“I’m against creating solutions for problems that don’t exist, especially when taxpayer dollars and education comes into play,” she said in her statement. “The equity plan implies there are racial tendencies in our community and our schools and that’s just something I haven’t seen nor has been empirically reported.” 

She said she asked the district to provide data and documented complaints about racial issues that arose in the district and didn’t receive anything.

“I believe it’s a politically motivated trend across many schools in this country,” Walker said. “When you start dividing people into groups based upon a personal characteristic such as skin color, and only leads to divisiveness and more racism. Being a Christian, we are taught that life is in the blood not the flesh, and we are all made in the image of God and that’s what I stand behind. I speak for many of Niskayuna parents that feel the same way.”

In another post Walker wrote “4 different police officers who responded to the Jn sixth riot at the Capitol, have coincidentally committed suicide. The 4th Kyle DeFreytag on July 10th. Let me repeat… 4 dead cops in the same small department by ‘suicide!!”

In the comments, she wrote that Jan. 6 was a “Deep Fake,” which is the manipulation of media to replace one person with another. 

Barrett condemned Walker’s posts. 

“The Holocaust was the worst atrocity in the history of the world and any attempt to mock or belittle it [is] unacceptable,” said Barrett, who is also the undersheriff. “Further, any comments belittling the suicide of law enforcement officers cannot be tolerated.”

Walker will more than likely remain on the ballot line under the Conservative Party.

Former Republican Chairman Chris Koetzle said his understanding of election law is that Walker would remain on the Conservative line on the ballot. 

That is the same understanding Barrett had. 

“I am not a lawyer, but as I understand the process, a political party has no legal power to remove a candidate from the ballot,” he said. “Additionally, while I understand there are certain technicalities that could result in the Board of Elections removing a candidate from the ballot during the political process, at this stage in the calendar no candidate can be removed from the ballot for any reason.”

Harris could not be reached for comment. 

Barrett said the committee’s only option is to renounce Walker.

“Unfortunately, the only power of the Committee is to express strongly and clearly that The Schenectady County Conservative Party Committee does not support Susan Walker and our recommendation to the members of the Conservative Party is not to vote for her,” he said. 

Categories: Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna


What part of what she posted was wrong or untrue? Oh, I see, none of it but she dared speak truth. The New World Order Left does not like truth unless it is the ‘truth’ they made up. I second all she said, she is absolutely right in all statements she made. I applaud her and wish SHE was our President. We’d be a hell of a lot better off. I really like the ‘turn our clocks back to 1942’.

William Marincic

We don’t have to support mask mandates or vaccine mandates this is still America. Because this woman had an opinion which millions of Americans have about this pandemic and the way it’s being run by the Democrat party with constant lies coming out of their head people like Anthony Fauci who denied gain of function research and the NIH just released papers that said that the gain of function research what being funded by the United States in the Wuhan lab and Fauci lied to Congress about it.. So who do we believe in the government? I’ll tell you who I believe, nobody.

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