Clean sweep for Dems in Guilderland primaries
GUILDERLAND — Incumbent Democrats dominated in the bid for small-party lines in Tuesday’s primaries.
Both the Republicans and the Democrats have full slates for the November elections. All elected town offices, save the highway superintendent, are currently held by Democrats.
Thirty percent of Guilderland residents are enrolled as Democrats. Twenty-six percent are Republicans. A quarter are unaffiliated, and the remainder are enrolled in small parties.
Three candidates were endorsed by the county’s Conservative Party for Guilderland Town Board, forcing the primary. “We do understand that it takes a lot of time and commitment to run for office, so we do like to give everyone a chance,” Richard Stack, the chairman of the Albany County Conservative Party, said before the primary.
Conservatives who voted on Sept. 10 — there are 465 from Guilderland enrolled in the party — chose the Democratic incumbents for town board.
According to unofficial results from the Albany County Board of Elections (the source of all results in this story), Patricia Slavick got 99 votes or 34 percent and Paul Pastore got 87 votes, or 30 percent. Republican Lee Carman, the third endorsed candidate, got 82 votes, or 28 percent. There were 21 write-in votes for 7 percent.
The names of those who received the write-in votes were not available at press time.
Slavick, who is running for her fourth four-year term, works for the state in finances. Pastore works as a lawyer. Carman, a banker, is in his third term as an Albany County Legislator. The GOP’s other candidate for town board is Mark Livingston, a project manager for GW Martin, who is semi-retired.
The four candidates for town justice — all of them lawyers — also were in the Conservative primary, and, again, the Democrats won. Incumbent Denise Randall led with 112 votes, or 35 percent. Close on her heels was the current town attorney, Richard Sherwood, with 108 votes or 34 percent.
The Republican candidates trailed. Stephen DeNigris garnered 42 votes or 13 percent while Christopher Aldrich received 38 votes or 12 percent. There were 18 write-in votes, or 6 percent.
Independence Party results
The Republicans became frustrated that the Independence Party chose all Democrats and so forced a primary where Independence Party voters — Guilderland has 1,314 — could write in names for two town board slots, town clerk, receiver of taxes, and three justice posts.
“The Democratic team has a phenomenal record,” Paul Caputo, chairman of the Albany County Independence Party, told The Enterprise before the primary. “We’d absolutely love to run candidates enrolled in our own party, but you have to look at qualifications; just because someone is a member of the party doesn’t mean they are qualified.”
The incumbent Democratic council members, Slavick and Pastore, got the line, Slavick with 147 votes, or 37 percent, and Pastore with 137 votes, or 35 percent. There were 112 write-in votes.
Democrat Jean Cataldo, currently Guilderland’s receiver of taxes who is running for town clerk, got 171 votes, for 78 percent, compared to 47 write-in votes for 22 percent. The Republicans are running Jason Wright, who works for the Albany County Board of elections, for town clerk.
The two Democrats running for judge were way out in front. Incumbent Randall received the most votes, 152, for 37 percent, while Sherwood got 138 votes, or 34 percent. The Republican challengers trailed. Christopher Aldrich got 58 votes, or 14 percent, and Stephen DeNigris got 45 votes or 11 percent. There were 13 write-in votes for 3 percent.
For receiver of taxes, Democrat Lynne Buchanan garnered 159 votes or 75 percent, and there were 53 write-in votes for 25 percent.
Republican Bryan Best, who is running for receiver of taxes, sent out a letter to Independence Party members just before the primary in which he falsely stated, “The Independence party Chairman has recently been embroiled in a scandal when it came to light in a recent article in The Altamont Enterprise that he received $30,000 as a member of the Guilderland Planning Board, in exchange for endorsing candidates.”
The Enterprise posted an editorial Monday on its website, www.AltamontEnterprise.com, referencing what the Aug. 29 story had actually said: Both Democrats and Republicans filled out questionnaires and were interviewed by the Independence Party Committee; the committee chose to endorse the Democrats.
Caputo was appointed to the Guilderland Planning board in 2001, after serving on the town board in 1997 and 1998, by a unanimous bipartisan vote. The first time he was not appointed unanimously was 2009 when the two Republicans on the board at the time voted against the appointment.
Like the other members of the planning board, Caputo has been paid an annual salary of roughly $4,000 for the last 12 years, bringing the total to about $48,000.
The Enterprise has not run an article stating that Caputo received pay in exchange for endorsing candidates.
When The Enterprise asked Best on Monday if he had any evidence that the Independence party endorsements are tied to Caputo’s planning board salary, he said, “I have absolutely no evidence that he did that; I think the facts speak for themselves….All I can do is bring to light that someone who is being paid for public office is endorsing all Democratic candidates. I wasn’t in any back rooms.”