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Montgomery County voters facing plethora of primaries

Montgomery County voters facing plethora of primaries

Five primaries are in store for voters in the city of Amsterdam, where a field of three candidates a

Five primaries are in store for voters in the city of Amsterdam, where a field of three candidates are vying for mayor and four people want to be city controller.

More than 80 candidates submitted nominating petitions for races throughout the county, according to the Montgomery County Board of Elections. Two sets of petitions are facing objections, Election Commissioner Jamie Duchessi said.

Incumbent Palatine town Supervisor Brian D. Sweet, a Democrat, filed a general objection to the petitions submitted by challenger Charles J. Dillenbeck, also a Democrat. Duchessi said the Board of Elections will address those objections Tuesday, but declined to elaborate on the specifics.

Also, Amsterdam mayoral candidate William Wills is facing a general objection to the nominating petitions he filed for the Democratic line on the ballot. The challenge was lodged by Montgomery County Democratic Chairwoman Bethany Schumann-McGhee.

Wills, a Democrat who currently serves as 4th Ward alderman on the city’s Common Council, said he wasn’t surprised at the objections filed by the leader of his own party. He called it a “tactic” aimed at fraying his nerves.

“We eat our own,” said Wills, who submitted petitions for both the Democratic and Conservative lines on the ballot.

Wills will be facing former Mayor Joseph Emanuele III in the Sept. 13 primary election as the pair vie for the Conservative line on the November ballot. That same day, he’ll be on the Democratic primary ballot against incumbent Mayor Ann Thane.

Schumann-McGhee said Friday she filed the general objection to preserve the right to file specific objections but a review of Wills’ petitions was not yet complete.

The race for Amsterdam controller will include two primary elections this year. Incumbent Republican Heather Reynicke faces a challenge from Matthew A. Agresta, also a Republican. Democratic candidates Ronald G. Wierzbicki and Manfred Phemister will also face off Sept. 13.

Wills this week issued a release challenging both Thane and Emanuele to at least two debates prior to the September primary, but it was unclear Friday if that would happen.

Emanuele said he thinks it’s premature to schedule a debate while he’s canvassing city neighborhoods and greeting residents. “I’m looking forward to now meeting the rest of the city on my door-to-door campaign,” he said.

But he added that the city’s mayoral candidates traditionally face off in some type of forum prior to the election.

Thane on Friday indicated she doesn’t think Wills is enough of a factor in the election to warrant debating him. “I do think the race is about the former mayor and myself,” she said, referring to Emanuele.

Three candidates filed petitions to fill the 4th Ward seat being vacated by Wills, setting up a primary for the Republican line on the ballot. Christina LaJeunesse and Diane M. Hatzenbuhler, both Republicans, are both vying for that line on the ballot.

Hatzenbuhler also filed nominating petitions for the Conservative line, and former County Supervisor David J. Dybas is looking to make a political comeback, filing petitions for the Democratic line on the ballot.

Political races will ensue in all of Montgomery County’s 10 towns, with four seats subject to primary elections.

In the town of Charleston, Town Clerk Diane C. Ferguson will face challenger Deborah A. Rickard and Town Justice Jean A. Walters is being challenged by Brenda A. Hayner. All four are Republicans, setting up two primaries Sept. 13.

Depending on the outcome of objections filed to his opponent’s nominating petitions, Sweet could see a primary election against Dillenbeck.

In St. Johnsville, three candidates will vie for the Democratic line on the ballot for the highway superintendent job: Jeffrey A. Doxtater, John Howard Swartz and Darin R. Battisti.

Duchessi said the Board of Elections intends in the near future to place a full list of candidates on the county website at www.co.montgomery.ny.us.

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