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Riggi loses seat as Schenectady City Council tilts to full Democratic control

Riggi loses seat as Schenectady City Council tilts to full Democratic control

Leesa Perazzo was the top vote-getter
Riggi loses seat as Schenectady City Council tilts to full Democratic control
The newly elected Carmel Patrick at the Hibernian Hall on State Street Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
Photographer: Peter Barber/Gazette Photographer

SCHENECTADY — Voters turned Councilman Vince Riggi out of office on Tuesday, flipping the body to full Democratic control for the first time in years.

With 95 percent of precincts reporting after polls closed on Tuesday, Councilwoman Leesa Perazzo was the top vote-getter, garnering 3,825 votes, or 19 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns from the Schenectady County Board of Elections. 

Councilman John M. Polimeni garnered 3,773 votes and City Council President Edward Kosiur received 3,386. 

Newcomer Carmel Patrick garnered 3,484 votes, earning the fourth seat on the board. 

More: Election roundup: Capital Region race results 2019

Riggi trailed the top four vote-getters with 2,973 votes. GOP newcomers Brendan Nally and Rima Cerrone garnered 1,283 and 1,309 votes, respectively. 

"We worked really hard, and took out Vince Riggi—how about that?" Polimeni said. 

PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER City Councilman John Palimeni at the Hibernian Hall on State Street  Tuesday, November 5, 2019.PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER
City Councilman John Palimeni at the Hibernian Hall on State Street Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

Riggi didn’t immediately respond for comment late Tuesday.

"I'm very excited. I'm thrilled to be part of the team," the newcomer Patrick said. "I'm excited to be part of the team that brought us this far, and move into the neighborhoods. I appreciate all of the support."

Mayor Gary McCarthy said the returns heralded a reaffirmation by city voters of Democratic leadership. 

“We have swept the entire elected offices, and are now entirely Democratic in the city of Schenectady,” McCarthy said. “We're going to continue to do the good work.”

Democrats, who gathered at the Ancient Order of Hibernians to watch the returns, appeared to be shocked at Riggi's loss, and few party brass before the contest thought Riggi would be dispatched. He was the city’s top vote-getter in 2015, besting Kosiur by one vote, and he had developed a reputation as "the voice of the people." 

"The candidates worked extremely hard and there was competition among them,” said city Democratic Committee Chairman Richard Naylor. “But yet also, there was unity and teamwork. It was a good mixture."

PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER City Council President Edward Kosier with his daughters Heather and Kerry Kosier at the Hibernian Hall on State Street  Tuesday, November 5, 2019.PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER
City Council President Edward Kosier with his daughters Heather and Kerry Kosier at the Hibernian Hall on State Street Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

"More things to come,” Kosiur said. “We've got four more years, baby."

McCarthy ran unopposed for a third term and garnered 4,537 votes, compared to 374 for a write-in candidate.

City Corporation Counsel Carl Falotico ran unopposed for the city judge seat being vacated by Judge Guido Loyola at the end of the year. 

More: Election roundup: Capital Region race results 2019

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