Cara Jasenski-Ackerley became Schenectady County's new county clerk Tuesday night, posting a convincing victory over Nick Barber.
Ackerley, a Democrat, received 30,799 votes (61 percent of the total ballots cast), while Barber, her Republican challenger, picked up 20,021 votes (39 percent).
"I would like to say to the voters that I am humbled, I am honored and I will do my best to represent them and provide to them the best customer service possible," said Ackerley. "I've been involved in politics since I graduated from college, but always in the supporting role, not as a candidate. This is a totally new experience, and I am so excited to start on this new journey."
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Ackerley's victory comes at the end of Democrat John Woodward's 24-year career as county clerk. Woodward, now serving as the Rotterdam Town Historian, announced early this year he would not run for another term. The daughter of Schenectady County Legislature Chairman Anthony Jasenski, Ackerley was already serving as deputy county clerk, having worked with Woodward for the past seven years.
- Jasenski Ackerley (D): 30,799 - 60.56%
- Barber (R): 20,021 - 39.37&
- 102 of 102 precincts counted
- Schenectady County Board of Elections
"Working with John has been an amazing experience," Ackerley said. "He's been a great mentor to me. He leaves some big shoes to fill, but I feel like this department is my home."
Ackerley grew up in Rotterdam, went to Guilderland High School and then Nazareth College in Rochester, where she majored in Spanish, international studies and political science.
Ackerley, who watched Tuesday's election results come in at Democratic headquarters in the Hibernian Hall in Schenectady, said she never felt comfortable until her victory was safe and secure.
"I'm a firm believer that you never count your eggs before they hatch," she said. "So, I waited. I didn't relax until 100 percent of the vote was in. Then I felt shaken. It is very humbling, and a real eye-opening experience to go through."
Barber, the county's former director of real property tax services, also served in the country Legislature.