Unofficial results from Tuesday night's Republican Party primary for Fulton County Sheriff show incumbent Richard Giardino defeated challenger Donald VanDeusen III by 2,794 to 728.
Giardino, who was also unopposed in the Conservative Party primary, said he was thankful for the support of voters in his first bid for reelection.
"It was an unusual year because they moved the primary up, and this was the only countywide primary. I don't look at this not only as a vote for me for reelection but as a vote for supporting the sheriff's department and the work we do everyday," Giardino said. "I wish my opponent well. I know his family and friends campaigned hard for him, and they did a lot to help him in this race."
VanDeusen said he was disappointed in the relatively low voter turnout compared to number of registered Republicans in the county. He said he's not sure if he'll run for sheriff again, and said he's happy with his job in retirement as the school resource officer for the Oppenheim Ephratah St. Johnsville School District.
"It baffles me that over and over again it's the same people who show up to vote, and the same people who get elected. It's not sour grapes, but it's a reality of this area, and this area reaps what it sows because they continue to put the same people in positions and expect to have change and success, so it is what it is," VanDeusen said.
Giardino's win in the primary means he will not face an opponent on the ballot in November.
VanDeusen, who first declared his intention to run for county sheriff in January, said New York state's decision to change the party primaries from September to June stymied his plan to gather signatures for an independent party candidacy in November. He said he also didn't realize that election law mandates that anyone who signs a primary petition can not circulate an independent party petition, which cost him signature gatherers for an independent bid for sheriff.
"It was too much work to do to get it in the short period of time, and this time of year, after the governor changed it. It just wasn't conducive for us. I had campaign workers who had various illnesses and sicknesses, and weren't able to carry petitions," he said. "I didn't thave the horses to be able to go out and get the signatures that we needed."
In the city of Johnstown, Bradley Hayner defeated David Sagan by an unofficial count of 84-68 for the city's first ward council seat.
In the town of Broadalbin, Junell Pasquarelli (177) and David Bardascini (181) appear to have captured the most votes in the Republican primary for two seats on the town council.
In Caroga, incumbents did not fair well in the Republican primary. Incumbent Town Supervisor James Selmser (89) was defeated in the unofficial count by challenger Scott Horton (213).
Caroga Town Board challengers Donald Travis (189), Richard Sturgess (239) gathered the most unofficial votes for two open council seats, with incumbents Kent Kirch (25) and Jeremy Manning (95) receiving less.
In the town of Mayfield, incumbent highway supervisor Melvyn Dopp (271) appears to have been defeated by challenger Jeffery Martin Jr. (491).
Montgomery County did not post its primary results by deadline Tuesday night.