Both Niskayuna town board incumbents will have to wait until absentee ballots are counted in order to determine who will remain an elected official.
There are 61 votes separating incumbents John Della Ratta and Denise Murphy McGraw. Of the 536 ballots sent out in Niskayuna only 284 were returned, according to the Schenectady County Board of Elections.
Absentees will be counted Nov. 15 and the election results will be certified by Nov. 27, according to the board of elections.
“Either way one of us obviously is going to win,” Della Ratta said Wednesday afternoon.
He said they both want each other to win. McGraw offered a similar sentiment.
“Councilman John Della Ratta and I are teammates and friends,” she said in an emailed statement Wednesday afternoon. “We were together last night as the results came in and have been in touch throughout today. Each of us is rooting for the other to win. If after all the votes are counted, John is still on top, he knows he will have no greater champion than me.”
The race for town board seats was heated leading up to elections with both parties taking hits at each other. On top of that residents have raised concerns about the two incumbents over the last few months, along with the actions of the board as a whole. Della Ratta is facing the disposition of a driving while intoxicated charge while he awaits election results. McGraw has had two ethics complaints filed against her, including one by board member-elect Jason Moskowitz.
Moskowitz said he doesn’t have tension with McGraw should she maintain her seat on the board. His focus isn’t the 4-1 Democratic majority, he said, but rather making sure residents’ voices get heard.
“We’re a group of five that want to do the right thing for the town,” he said. “I’m committed to working collaboratively.”
Moskowitz received the highest number of votes of any of the board candidates on election night, with 3,045 being cast in his favor. His Republican board running mate Susan Walker received the fewest number of cast votes on election night with only 2,482.
Moskowitz, a lifelong Niskayuna resident, said he was humbled by the number of people that voted for him.
He said while there are town committees he would like to be a part of, ultimately that decision comes down to the supervisor. He did not say which committees he was interested in. However, he said, some of his top concerns include public safety and the conditions of the town parks and sports fields.
“It’s all about listening to the residents,” he said.
There are 16,704 registered voters in Niskayuna, according to county data. There were only 10,819 ballots cast for the two full-term board seats. Of the registered voters in Niskayuna, 7,295 are Democrats and 3,665 are Republicans, according to county data.