Unofficial vote totals from Tuesday's primary elections show Democratic Party mayoral candidate Michael Cinquanti swept the field of available minor party nominations, giving the challenger five different ballot lines in the November election.
On Tuesday, Cinquanti faced incumbent Amsterdam Mayor Michael Villa, a Republican, in both the Independence Party and Conservative Party primaries. Villa had received direct nomination into those primaries from each party's leadership. Cinquanti is a registered member of the Independence Party, giving him the right to challenge in that primary, and he successfully circulated an "opportunity to ballot" petition allowing Conservative Party voters to cast write-in votes for him in the Conservative Party primary.
Cinquanti beat Villa 22-13 in the Independence Party primary, with seven absentee ballots not yet counted. Cinquanti got 29 write-in votes for the Conservative Party primary, besting Villa's 13 votes, with seven absentee ballots not yet counted.
Cinquanti received three write-in votes for the Green Party nomination, and has been nominated directly to the Working Families Party ballot line.
"I want to thank the voters. We worked very hard to reach the voters we thought were going to vote, and it looks like we did, and we were very happy with the results," Cinquanti said.
As of Tuesday's primary elections the city of Amsterdam has 445 registered Independence Party voters, with 30 considered inactive having not voted in about eight years. The city has 193 Conservative Party voters, with 18 considered inactive.
Villa said he was disappointed more people didn't turn out. He said he's not sure what impact the minor party primaries will have on the general election when only about 92 out of 638 voters in the Independence and Conservative parties actually voted.
"It's such a small sampling of these select parties that I really don't think it's indicative of the true voice of the city," Villa Said. "Having an early primary, in the middle of summer, on a beautiful day, and expecting people to go and vote and really it doesn't make a difference to what happens in November, it's hard to motivate people to get out. It's hard enough to motivate them in November.
Out of an estimated population of 18,620, the city of Amsterdam currently has 9,091 registered voters. According to the Montgomery County Board of Elections, the Democratic Party currently holds a registration advantage in the city of 3,866 to 2,413 registered Republicans.
Both Cinquanti and Villa expressed a desire to debate prior to the November election.
Third Ward Alderwoman Irene Collins, a Democrat, also appears to have won the Conservative Party primary for her race with six votes.
In countywide races, the unofficial vote total shows Ariel Santiago has the lead over John DeStefano, 31-27, in the Conservative Party primary for Montgomery County District 1 Coroner, with 10 absentee ballots still not counted.
Montgomery County Democratic Election Commissioner Terry Bieniek said the coroner's race is the only race that could change from Tuesday's unofficial results due to the number of absentee ballots, which he expects will be counted by the end of the week.
John Thayer, a former chairman of the old Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, won the Republican (76 to 48 write-in votes) and Conservative Party (8 to 5 write-in votes) primaries Tuesday to run for county District 3 Legislator against incumbent Roy Dimond, who's running on the Democratic Party and Working Families party lines.