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Saratoga Springs school board slate cracks after candidate drops endorsement

Saratoga Springs school board slate cracks after candidate drops endorsement

Woytowich unhappy with comments made about opponent
Saratoga Springs school board slate cracks after candidate drops endorsement
Saratoga school board candidate Connie Woytowich speaks during a fundraiser by Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools on Feb. 28.
Photographer: Erica Miller

Saratoga Springs school board candidate Connie Woytowich on Wednesday disavowed the endorsement of a parent group focused on rearming district grounds monitors, according to a post on her campaign Facebook page.

Woytowich, a high school science teacher in South Colonie schools, promised to continue her candidacy: “Make no mistake ... I am still running for the school board,” according to the Facebook post. “By myself.”

It's unclear what led to the renouncement of the endorsement, but the note posted on Woytowich's campaign Facebook page said she “did not approve” of a message about sitting board member and candidate for re-election Heather Reynolds shared by Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools, the parent group backing the slate of candidates.

After Reynolds on Tuesday posted an explanation of how she and the school board decided not to authorize district grounds monitors to carry firearms on schools grounds – as some of the monitors had done for years without formal authorization – Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools responded with a scathing critique.

“Heather, and the other four anti-school safety politicians on the school board put their personal politics ahead of our kids, the teachers and community,” the parent group wrote in a Tuesday post.

Woytowich could not be reached for comment Wednesday night, and the post on her campaign page that says she “rescinded my acceptance of the endorsement from” Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools does not specify what message went too far. But something appeared to cross a line for her. “I will not allow my name to be attached to such behavior,” the disavowal post continued.

Another Facebook post from Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools, which appeared to have been removed as of Wednesday night, claimed Reynolds “believes in gun control so much, that she doesn't even want the cops to carry a firearm.”

Kara Rosettie, who started Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools as a Facebook group in October after the school board voted against authorizing grounds monitors to carry firearms, did not respond to requests for comment by press time Wednesday night.

The group interviewed prospective board candidates through the winter and named a slate of three endorsed candidates in February. Along with Woytowich, the group also endorsed Ed Cubanski, an executive at Eastern New York American Red Cross, and Dean Kolligian, vice president for security and facilities at The Adirondack Trust Company.

The trio planned to run a tight-knit campaign with a single shared campaign bank account, an account that had been set up by Rosettie after forming the parent group. The three candidates earlier this month said they all had access to shared financial records and that they would jointly approve spending decisions during the campaign.

Woytowich has said she supports “the return of qualified armed security monitors” to Saratoga schools and has also emphasized the importance of STEM education and professional development for teachers.

"My positions haven't changed -- they are rock solid!" Woytowich wrote in another post Wednesday night.

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