No surprises in G’land election results: Incumbents keep their posts

Michelle Coons

The Enterprise — Elizabeth Floyd Mair 
Michele Coons and supporters look over the election sheets on which they will write in results.

GUILDERLAND — There were no surprises in Guilderland Tuesday night; the incumbents — all Democrats in a heavily Democratic town — won re-election.

Supervisor Peter Barber, re-elected by a wide margin, said he was proud of his and the other incumbents’ achievements and of the “relentlessly positive” campaign they had run.

Jacob Crawford, acting chairman of Guilderland’s Democratic Committee, said he was proud of the good working relationship the party had formed with the minor party lines. All four incumbents were endorsed by the Conservative and Independence parties, although two of the challengers were enrolled Conservatives.

Conservative Chairman Richard Stack told The Enterprise, before the primary, “You’ve got to give me a reason to change jockeys on the horse when the horses are already running.”

The races for supervisor and for two seats on the town board were contested.

Incumbent Supervisor Peter Barber was challenged again by Republican Brian Forte. Barber and Forte went head-to-head in 2015 when both ran to fill the seat vacated by Ken Runion, who had served for two decades.

In 2015, the race between Barber and Forte was close. In 2017, it was not.

The two men were separated by just 438 votes in the election two years ago. This time, Barber received 6,162 to Forte’s 3,112, according to unofficial results from the Albany County Board of Elections. Barber received 66.38 percent of the vote, and Forte 33.52.

Barber is an attorney who was a founding partner of the firm Murphy, Burns, Barber, and Murphy until his election in November 2015; he wound up his work at the firm within several months and had severed ties with the firm by summer. Barber served as the chairman of Guilderland’s zoning board from 2001 through 2015 and as a member of the zoning review committee from 2009 to 2015.




Forte spent almost 25 years as a Guilderland police officer, and has been a Guilderland volunteer firefighter for 34 years. He currently works at part-time jobs at not-for-profit organizations, including as executive director of the State of New York Police Juvenile Officers Association.

On the Conservative Party line, Barber got 504 of his 6,200 votes. The Independence Party line accounted for 411 of his votes. Of Forte’s votes, 131 were on the Reform line. There are 512 enrolled Conservative Party voters in Guilderland, and 1,314 Independence Party voters.

In the race for town board, Slavick and Pastore won by wide margins over the two challengers.

Slavick was the top vote-getter, with 5,884, or 32.42 percent of the vote, and Pastore was next, with 5,762, or 31.74 percent. In third place was challenger Coons with 3,406, or 18.76 percent, followed by Burbank with 3,087, or 17.01 percent.

Slavick got 510 votes on the Conservative line, and 436 on the Independence. Pastore got 503 Conservative votes, and 397 Independence.

Slavick is a licensed certified public accountant and works at the Statewide Financial System; she was first elected to the board in 2000 and was running this time for a fifth four-year term.

Pastore is an attorney who has served on the board since 2006.

Coons and Burbank are enrolled Conservatives. They both sell real estate.

Coons manages the merchant services department of the Retail Council of New York State, working with businesses that need credit-card processing. She served as town comptroller for two years, from 1998 to 1999.

Burbank led the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce for seven years and directed Community Caregivers for one year. She was a five-year member of the Zoning Review Committee, which revised the town’s zoning code.

The other races were uncontested. They were:

— Lynne Buchanan for receiver of taxes, a position she has held for four years. Before becoming receiver of taxes, she was deputy receiver of taxes under Jean Cataldo for three-and-a-half years and spent six months working in the town comptroller’s office;

— Jean J. Cataldo for town clerk. Cataldo has been town clerk since 2013. She was receiver of taxes before that for 14 years;

— Denise Randall for town justice. Randall has served as a town justice since 2005. She is a partner in the firm she runs with her husband, the Randall Law Firm on Western Avenue in Guilderland. She received more votes than anyone else in the 2017 election — 8,500; and

— Richard Sherwood for town justice. Sherwood is a partner in the law firm Mazzotta, Sherwood & Vagianelis. He was also town attorney for 14 years and a prosecutor in the Guilderland traffic court for about seven years. He has been a town justice since 2013.

More Guilderland News

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