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21-year-old eyes District 3 Schenectady County Legislature seat

21-year-old eyes District 3 Schenectady County Legislature seat

21-year-old Republican wants County Legislature seat, faces Democrat Michelle Ostrelich
21-year-old eyes District 3 Schenectady County Legislature seat
Photographer: Gazette file photo

GLENVILLE & NISKAYUNA -- The race for an open seat representing District 3 on the Schenectady County Legislature is shaping up, with 21-year-old Republican Juliano Febo of Glenville planning to take on Democrat Michelle Ostrelich of Niskayuna.

Febo, who graduated from Endicott College in Massachusetts in May 2018, said he was wants to bring youthful energy and ideas to the race. He noted he's worked in several management-type jobs while going to school, and is curretly awaiting security clearance to start a business position at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna.

"I think for someone my age, I try to go above and beyond in how hard I work," Febo said. "My age is one of the things people want to talk about. I've done a lot, and I just haven't had the time to do more."

Ostrelich, meanwhile, is making her second bid for public office within the last year, after being defeated last fall in a uphill challenge against well-known Republican state Sen. James Tedisco, R-Glenville.

Both candidates are looking to the fill the county seat being vacated by veteran legislator and Republican Jim Buhrmaster of Glenville. Buhrmaster, one of only two Republicans on the 15-member County Legislature, isn't seeking re-election due to health issues, but is expected to remain in office through the rest of the year.

Ostrelich, 47, a mother and non-practicing attorney, has secured endorsements for the Democratic, Conservative, Independence and Working Families ballot lines.

Ostrelich announced her campaign in February. "I'm very pleased to receive all these endorsements, especially so early in the campaign," she said in a statement. "I have spent a great deal of time speaking to members of these parties, and understand their main concerns going into this election. They want to have economic security, live in safe communities and have access to vital programming when they need it."

Febo, a 2015 graduate of Scotia-Glenville High School, said that in addition to working, he has been connected to local politics. He was a volunteer campaigner in 2017 for Republican Glenville town office candidates, and has also volunteered for five years at the Glenville Oktoberfest. His mother works for Schenectady County, and he said he grew up hearing stories from his grandparents about how vibrant the city of Schenectady used to be.

"Also, last year I was appointed to [a] seat on the [Glenville] Zoning Board of Appeals," Febo said. "This is the culmination is a lot of things that made be want to get involved ... Obviously I am a Republican, but being young I am more progressive."

County Republicans are giving him their full support. "He came in, and obviously he's young, but he's got a lot of great ideas and a lot of energy and passion," said Glenville Supervisor Chris Koetzle, the acting county Republican chairman. "He would bring, frankly, a balance to the County Legislature, where the Democrats have been in control."

County Legislature District 3 includes the towns of Glenville and Niskayuna and the village of Scotia. Incumbent Democrat Tom Constantine is running unopposed for re-election to the other seat representing that district up for election this year.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

 

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