Republican Chris Tague beat incumbent Democrat Gene Milone and independent challenger Wanda Colyer for town of Schoharie supervisor on Tuesday.
Tague, Schoharie County Republican Party Vice Chairman and general manager of Cobleskill Stone, ran on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform lines. He took 493 votes to 417 for Milone and 72 for Colyer, on the People Helping People line.
“We ran a campaign about the things that we were going to do and about the issues that resonated and matter most to the voters,” Tague said Tuesday night. “The high taxes in this community, the lack of job creation, lack of economic development, lack of smart growth — people went to the voting booth tonight and they want a change, they want a new direction.”
Tague has consistently denied that his run was motivated by a decade-long lawsuit by Cobleskill Stone against the Town Board for the right to expand its mining operations.
The 46-year-old has been vice chairman of the Schoharie County Republican Party for six years and was second vice chairman for six years before that.
He built his campaign on lowering taxes and bringing jobs to the area to provide opportunities for young people to stay, hoping to reverse the job drain that he’s seen since graduating from the Schoharie Central School District in 1987.
“That was the message that we stayed with the whole campaign,” he said Tuesday. “We kept everything positive and about what we were going to do. And at the end of the day we were successful.”
While not outright opposing the relocation of the Schoharie County Jail and Public Safety Facility on the Seebold farm on Route 30, an issue that played a large part in motivating Colyer’s run, Tague has said he does not think it’s the right place for the jail. Milone has been a vocal advocate of the placement.
Tague also diverged from Milone and Colyer on the issue of natural gas pipelines proposed to cut through the county. While the latter two aggressively opposed them, Tague said county leaders may ultimately be powerless to stop them and would be better off negotiating for the lowest possible impact.
Tague said he plans to quickly enact an aggressive strategy to bring employers to the town. He pointed to the county’s efforts to convince a casino developer to locate in Schoharie County as an example of what can be achieved with persistence.
Tague started out as a member and eventually became president of the Schoharie County Young Republicans, and currently serves as chairman of New York State Associated Builders and Contractors and chairman of the Aggregates Committee of the New York State Construction Materials Association.
Milone is a retired New York City Transit Authority superintendent who has been town supervisor for two terms.
Colyer, a registered Republican and retired teacher, entered the race after speaking out against the location of the county jail and Public Safety Facility at the Seebold site on Route 30.
Tague thanked Milone for his years of service Tuesday night. “Regarddless that we disagree on a lot of issues, anyone that takes time out of their busy life to do things for their community, he deserves a round of applause and I respect him for that,” he said.
Elsewhere in the county:
Blenheim: Democratic Supervisor Shawn J. Smith beat Republican challenger Gail Shaffer 77 votes to 60.
Broome: Republican David Simkins beat out Democrat Walter G. Berdan, 124-98 for town supervisor. Republican Supervisor William Smith is stepping down.
Town of Cobleskill: Incumbent Republican Supervisor Leo T. McAllister defeated Democrat Christina Knee 665-186.
Conesville: Republican Supervisor William Federice, also running on the Reform line, beat a challenge by Stephen M. Young, running on the Democratic and Conservative lines, 167-98.
Fulton: Democratic Supervisor Philip R. Skowfoe defeated Republican John P. Felitti, 207-174.
Jefferson: Deputy Supervisor Margaret A. Hait, who took over when former Supervisor Sean Jordan resigned to accept a position as executive director for the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District last month, took the seat after running unopposed.
Middleburgh: Democratic Supervisor Jim Buzon was narrowly defeated by Republican Gerald Pete Coppolo Sr., 359-326.
Richmondville: Republican Supervisor Richard Lape, who stepped down as Board of Supervisors chairman last month, held off a challenge by Democrat Scott Bennett, 346-152
Wright: Supervisor Amber Bleau is stepping down at the end of the year. Alex Luniewski ran unopposed on both the Republican and Democratic lines.