Schenectady County

Election 2021: Four new Schenectady County legislators elected, 2 incumbents lose

From left, clockwise: Omar Sterling McGill, Cathy Gatta, Eric Hess, Josh Cuomo, Sara Mae Pratt, and Peter Frisoni, Jr.

From left, clockwise: Omar Sterling McGill, Cathy Gatta, Eric Hess, Josh Cuomo, Sara Mae Pratt, and Peter Frisoni, Jr.

The Schenectady County Legislature will get four new legislators following Tuesday night’s election results.

However, the results will not significantly change the Legislature’s makeup, which will continue to be controlled by Democrats. 

In the most contentious race, District 1 in the city of Schenectady, two Democrats battled it out on election night. 

Democratic-line candidate Omar Sterling McGill beat out Brendan Savage, running on the Conservative and Working Families Party lines, 1,448 votes to 1,065. 

“I am super proud of the people of Schenectady for having faith in me,” McGill said.

McGill, a 31-year-old state Senate staff member, also ran for the seat in 2019.

McGill thanked his election manager, Nick Petrillo. McGill said this is one of the biggest accomplishments of his life. 

“It starts and ends with the people of Schenectady District 1,” McGill said. “I will work hard for them. I will always promise them that my heart will be in the work.”

Voters throughout District 1, including those at Bellevue Reformed Church, Mont Pleasant Middle School and Schenectady High School, knew little about the two candidates. Instead, they discussed concerns pertaining to the City Council race, which featured 11 candidates vying for five positions. 

Elizabeth Villalobos, who voted at Bellevue Reformed Church, said she researched each council race diligently before voting, but didn’t pay much attention to the county Legislature race.

She said she voted for McGill because a friend said he was the best candidate.

Ann Ashely, meanwhile, said she cast her ballot for Savage because he discussed repairing dilapidated roads throughout his campaign.

“I’m sure there were other things I heard throughout the campaign, but the streets are the biggest,” she said after casting her ballot at Schenectady High School. 

In District 3, voters re-elected Democratic incumbents Sara Mae Pratt and Cathy Gatta. They also elected Conservative Peter Frisoni Jr. In District 4, both Conservative incumbents, Randy Pascarella and Holly Vellano, lost to Republicans Josh Cuomo and Eric Hess. 

Voters in Districts 3 and 4 weren’t so focused on the local elections as they were on some of the five proposed statewide propositions on the back of the ballot this year. 

The propositions included:

  • Amending the apportionment and redistricting process
  • Right to clean air, clean water and a healthful environment
  • Eliminating the 10-day advance voter registration requirement
  • Authorizing no-excuse absentee ballot voting
  • Increasing the jurisdiction of the New York City Civil Court

If it wasn’t for a proposition on the right to clean air, water and a healthy environment, Rotterdam resident Lee Harrison wouldn’t have gone out to vote, he said. 

Harrison has been a climate scientist since the early 1970s and said voting yes on the proposition was very important to him. 

Five-year Rotterdam resident John Guillaume said he had to get out and vote no on propositions to expand voting rights. He said he wanted to make sure illegal immigrants weren’t allowed to vote in future elections because of the propositions. 

“I just don’t think it’s right,” he said. 

In Glenville, husband and wife Pat and Don Miller took a different approach and voted in favor of the propositions to expand voting rights. 

“We’re in favor of making it easier,” they said. 

Other than that the couple, who have lived in town for almost 50 years, were happy with the way the town is going, they said.

Also voting in Glenville was Lauren Patterson, who took the opportunity to show her 4-year-old son John David Patterson what the process was all about. 

“I really do believe in community participation whether it’s a presidential or local election year,” she said. 

Her son John David was the last of four to see how voting took place. 

Patterson wouldn’t say exactly who she voted for but said “I think I’ve seen a lot of good happening, so I wanted to support that.”

District 1- Schenectady

Omar Sterling McGill (D)-1448

Brendan Savage (C/WFP) -1065

District 2- Schenectady

Philip Fields (D) (uncontested)-2,284

District 3- Glenville, Niskayuna, village of Scotia

Juliano Febo (R) -5398

Peter Frisoni Jr. (C) -7106

Cathy Gatta (D) -7557

Sara Mae Pratt (D)- 8085

Anthony Simone (R) -5553

District 4- Duanesburg, Princetown, Rotterdam, village of Delanson

Josh Cuomo (R)- 4833

Eric Hess (R)- 4424

Randy Pascarella (C)- 3,428

Holly Vellano (C)- 3,991

Categories: News, Schenectady County

Leave a Reply