With the arrival of the new year, there is no Saratoga County clerk and it isn’t clear when there will be a new one.
Kathy Marchione, who has been county clerk for the past 15 years, as of today has assumed the state Senate seat she won in November, vacating her county office. She was sworn into the Senate seat last Friday in Albany.
The office is an elected one, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo could name an interim county clerk. When or if Cuomo will name a replacement remains unclear. His office on Monday did not respond to a request for comment.
The Republican, Democratic and Independence parties have all submitted names to the governor for consideration for an appointment that would last until a special election is held in November.
The Saratoga County Republican Committee has nominated Craig Hayner, a member of the Halfmoon Town Board who ran unsuccessfully for a state Assembly seat in 2010. Hayner, a businessman, will be the party’s nominee when the special election is held in November, said county Republican Chairman John Herrick.
Hayner, who has been on the Halfmoon Town Board since 2008, is an ally of Marchione’s. He supported her in what initially looked like a longshot bid to unseat incumbent state Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, in a Republican primary last September.
In a countywide election, the Republican will have a strong advantage because the GOP continues to have a wide enrollment advantage over the county’s Democrats.
The county Democratic Committee has submitted three names for the governor’s consideration, but has declined to disclose them.
Saratoga Springs county Supervisor Joanne Yepsen, perhaps the county’s most high-profile elected Democrat, said in a news release in early December that she wants to remain on the Board of Supervisors.
“I want to make it known that I have neither requested to be considered by the governor nor am I pursuing this position,” she said.
The Independence Party has submitted the name of Ballston Supervisor Patti Southworth, a former Democrat and the Independence Party’s county chairman.
Cuomo isn’t required to make an appointment — the office could remain vacant until the November election.
The county clerk, who will be paid $99,590 in 2013, oversees a $4 million annual budget and about 50 employees.
The office is the official repository of county legal records such as deeds, mortgages and lawsuits, and also operates the state Department of Motor Vehicles offices in the county.
The deputy clerk who oversaw motor vehicles, LoAnn Sanders, retired in December and has not been replaced. Kate Jeanson remains as the deputy clerk who oversees records.
“Kate Jeanson is still there, but as of tomorrow she’ll be doing the work of three people,” Herrick said Monday. “It’ll be tough. I would hope the governor would act fairly quickly.”