Small-party voters can choose Napierski or Clenahan for judge

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

Christine Napierski listens during the Guilderland Democratic caucus on July 26.

GUILDERLAND — After a clash at the Democratic caucus on July 26 that saw one candidate edge ahead by 21 votes, Guilderland residents enrolled in the Independence Party or the Women’s Equality Party will have a chance on Sept. 13 to select as their candidate for town justice either Bryan Clenahan, the Democrats’ pick, or sitting town judge Christine Napierski.

There are 1,279 Guilderland residents enrolled in the Independence Party and 7 enrolled in the Women’s Equality Party, according to Matthew Clyne, the Democratic commissioner for the Albany County Board of Elections,

Napierski began serving as town justice in April after being unanimously appointed to the post by the Guilderland Town Board following the resignation of Richard Sherwood, who later pleaded guilty to felony grand larceny, money laundering, and tax fraud. Fourteen lawyers, including Clenahan, had applied for the post.

But in June the Guilderland Democratic Committee decided to endorse not Napierski, but Clenahan. Leading up to the caucus, unflattering information emerged about both candidates: Napierski had her driver’s license revoked between March and June after she had failed to address a November speeding ticket, and Clenahan had had tax warrants issued against him by the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance in three different years, 2003, 2013, and 2015, as well as a court judgment in favor of a bank in a credit-card matter in 2001.

Napierski did bring an eleventh-hour lawsuit in federal court, seeking a temporary injunction to stop the caucus, alleging that the caucus method employed by the Democratic Party in Guilderland is designed to favor the committee’s candidate and stating that Democrats told her she would never be elected to public office in Guilderland in the future if she did not withdraw her candidacy. The suit, brought by both Napierski and her law-partner father, also argued that the caucus site, Tawasentha Park, was not accessible to voters with handicaps.

The judge allowed the caucus to proceed with stipulations to accommodate people with handicaps like Eugene Napierski, the candidate’s father.

Also on Sept. 13, Reform Party voters may choose among three candidates for New York’s attorney general: Nancy B. Sliwa, Mike Diederich, or Christopher B. Garvey.

Enrolled Democrats may choose between candidates for governor —  Cynthia E. Nixon and Andrew M. Cuomo — and, for lieutenant governor, Kathy C. Hochul and Jumaane Williams. Democrats may choose among four candidates for attorney general: Sean Patrick Maloney, Letitia A. James, Leecia R. Eve, and Zephyr Teachout.

The polls are open from noon to 9 p.m.


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