Early election results from Tuesday’s Republican primary show newcomer Bill Rowback narrowly beating two-term incumbent Dayton King by 57 votes in the race for mayor of Gloversville.
Unofficial results posted Tuesday night to the Fulton County Board of Election’s website show Rowback, a 28-year city firefighter, with 53 percent of Republican votes cast to King’s 47 percent. A total of 919 registered Republicans in Gloversville voted in the primary Tuesday, according to the website.
Although the pair will face off again in the general election Nov. 7 because King will appear on the Conservative line, both King and Rowback last week said that they see Tuesday’s outcome as very significant in determining who will be the next mayor.
There were no Democratic candidates on the mayoral ballot in Gloversville on Tuesday.
Both candidates split Gloversville’s six wards evenly, but Rowback won his wards by a higher margin than King did his. Some wards were a virtual tie, such as the Third Ward, which King won with 102 votes to Rowback’s 100 votes. Rowback won the Fifth Ward by just a single vote, 94-93, according to unofficial results.
Where Rowback pulled away was in wards Four and Six, which comprise the western half of the city. Rowback won the Fourth Ward with 91 votes to King’s 51, and the Sixth Ward by 100 votes to King’s 50, according to the early results.
King did not respond to a message seeking comment Tuesday night after the results were posted.
Rowback on Tuesday night said there was never any doubt in his mind as to Tuesday’s outcome.“I’m a positive-thinking person,” said Rowback. “If I were to put doubt in myself, ‘maybe I can maybe I can’t,’ that shows when you talk to people.”
Rowback, who runs foot races competitively, said the campaign is far from over, and likened his Primary Day win to the halfway point in a standard 26.2-mile marathon.
Rowback added that he plans to take a week off from campaigning to spend time with his wife, “whom I’ve neglected,” he said, and then hit the trail hard until Nov. 7.
“I’m not worried about anything right now, I’m going to run the rest of the 13.1 miles in this race,” he said. “I’m going to take a breather, and then come back and hit every door in the city.”
Rowback congratulated King on what he said has been a good race so far.
“It’s not over until Nov. 7 and I just hope we can keep a positive campaign going, no negativity.,” said Rowback. “We’ll see what the voters decide on Nov. 7, and let the best man win.”
With no Democratic challengers, the Primary Day showdown between Republicans King and Rowback provided a dash of flavor in a field that, at least locally, was perhaps lacking in excitement.
Since announcing his candidacy in February, Rowback has been a persistent presence at Common Council meetings and other local government functions, such as board meetings at the Gloversville Housing Authority.
He could also often be seen driving around Gloversville with a large campaign sign on a trailer attached to his truck.
Sparks have flown between both camps, most notably at a council meeting in August when King questioned Rowback’s son, Brandon Rowback, over a records request the younger Rowback made for emails between King and then-city clerk Susan Semione.
King asked Brandon Rowback what he was after, citing potential costs to taxpayers in fulfilling the request.
Brandon Rowback told The Daily Gazette his records request had nothing to do with his father’s campaign, rather he’s simply trying to find out why Semione was not re-appointed during the last cycle.
Brandon Rowback has also posted regular videos to his Facebook page criticizing King’s performance as mayor, among other topics.
Bill Rowback has criticized King for having a second job as a real estate agent, while King has hit back at Rowback for a lack of political experience. King has also touted his record of reducing or keeping flat the city’s tax rate for the past eight years, among other accomplishments.
Rowback said previously that if he wins the mayor's seat he will resign his post in the Fire Department. The mayor of Gloversville draws an annual salary of $42,000.
Schenectady’s lone contested primary won’t yield any firm results until Thursday, when write-in ballots are counted for candidates seeking a spot on the Working Families Party line.
Three candidates were listed on Tuesday’s ballot, as well as a write-in slot. The top three vote-getters will appear on the Working Families Party line in November’s election, when three City Council seats are up for grabs.
The unofficial results, as of Tuesday night, were as follows:
- Damonni Farley: 36 votes
- John Mootooveren: 29 votes
- Marion Porterfield: 19 votes
- Write-in: 24 votes
Farley and Mootooveren are poised to secure a place on the November ballot, while Porterfield could be beaten by a write-in candidate if more than 19 of the submitted votes are for one person.
The Schenectady County Board of Elections will tally the votes on Thursday.
The Working Families Party was the lone contested primary in this year’s City Council race. In addition, there were 24 write-in votes submitted in the Green Party for the City Council race.
Three other candidates have publicly announced their campaigns for office. Cerrone and Mohamed Hafez are running as Republicans and on the Reform Party line, while 24-year-old Joshua Muno is running as an independent.
PRINCETOWN: Current town Supervisor Louis Esposito defeated former town supervisor Michael Joyce for the Republican nomination for supervisor, according to final but unofficial results. Esposito, who was appointed in December 2016 after a resignation, won 79-59.
In a competition for the GOP nod for a Town Board seat, Nicole Maura defeated Patrick Mooney, 76-59.
NISKAYUNA: A Conservative Party primary for two Town Board seats had Anthony Simone challenging incumbents Denise Murphy McGraw and John DellaRatta, both of whom are also running as Democrats. Unofficial results show Simone winning. The second most votes went to write-ins, but it's not clear if they represent more than one candidate.
Incumbent Town Supervisor Joe Landry also lost to write-ins, although it's not clear if they represent more than one candidate. Landry also has the Democratic Party line.
CHARLTON: In the Independence Party primary, Edmund Snyder Jr. received 10 votes, behind incumbent Town Board members Joseph Grasso, with 14, but ahead of Councilman Douglas Ranaletto, with seven votes. Ranaletto was recently appointed to the vacancy created by the death of Councilman John Gay. Ranaletto and Grasso still have a Republican line.
CORINTH: Edward Byrnes, Andrew Kelley and Calvin Butler are competing in a Republican primary for two Town Board seats. Results weren't available at press time.
MILTON: Town Board member Scott Ostrander, a former Ballston Spa police officer running with the backing of the town's GOP establishment, defeated Town Board member Barbara Kerr for the Republican nomination for town supervisor, after current supervisor Dan Lewza decided not to seek re-election. Ostrander had 716 votes to 499 for Kerr.
Challenger James Frey lost to party-backed Frank Blaisdell and John Frolish for the Republican nominations for two Town Board seats.
PROVIDENCE: Town Board member Sandra Winney defeated fellow Town Board member Elizabeth Vandenburgh, 166-74, in a contest for the Republican nomination for town supervisor. Richard Cross and Audrey Lahoff won the race for two Town Board seats, with incumbent Cheryl Lee losing.
SARATOGA SPRINGS: Francine Verro defeated Andrew Blumenberg 165-57 for the Independence Party line for City Court judge.
WILTON: Challenger Eric Rosenberg edged incumbent town justice Gerald Worth for the Independence Party nomination, 48-44. Worth will still have other ballot lines in the general election.