Muriel Frasher re-elected as Rensselaerville justice

Enterprise file photo — H. Rose Schneider 

Muriel Frasher in the Rensselaerville Town Court in 2018. Frasher had been appointed to the position that year and was just re-elected to her second full four-year term. 

RENSSELAERVILLE — Muriel Frasher will remain on the bench in Rensselaerville after being re-elected through write-in votes this month. 

Frasher, who was 71 when she was first appointed to the position in 2018, received 82 write-in votes, Albany County Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner Kathleen Donovan told The Enterprise this week, remarking that the count is still unofficial. 

Frasher’s name did not appear on the ballot nor did the name of any other candidate. While the title “Town Justice” and the instruction “Vote for one” appeared at the top of the furthest right column on the paper ballot, all of the squares for various parties were blank.

The unofficial Election Night results show that 88 people wrote in a candidate; the other write-ins were one-off names, Donovan said.

Hébert Joseph, who chairs Rensselaerville’s Democratic committee, said that Frasher, a Conservative who won her first election with backing from the Democratic and Conservative parties, was unendorsed because she approached the party too late for the Democrats to get her on the ballot. He said that, since 2018, she has distanced herself from the Conservative party because of the party’s identification with the Trump movement. 

Frasher herself declined to answer Enterprise questions. 

Joseph said that, to ensure she got elected despite not appearing on the ballot, he and colleague Jeffry Pine campaigned for her at places like the town transfer station. 

“I am very happy she made it,” Joseph said.

Frasher first joined the court in 2018 when she was appointed to replace Judge Dwight Cook, who had resigned. 

Before she was appointed, Frasher worked for 20 years at the New York State Office of Mental Health in the fiscal division, and had retired just a few months before the appointment. She told The Enterprise in 2018 that she “missed using my brain” once she retired, making the judgeship an appealing challenge — one with a “huge learning curve.”

She had been unsure at the time of her March appointment whether she would seek the office through election that November, but ultimately ran that year for a four-year term. 

“I think that it’s an important job, a very important job … ,” Frasher said at the time. “You’re affecting people’s lives.”

More Hilltowns News

  • Despite concerns about a worsening leak, Huyck Preserve Director Anne Rhodes maintains that the Lake Myosotis dam is expected to work normally under typical weather conditions, referring to a 2022 inspection report from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation that found it to be well-maintained.

  • A propane heater started a structure fire in Westerlo that damaged an apartment and garage, but left the main attached residence unscathed, according to Westerlo’s deputy fire chief. 

  • The dam was found to be leaking in 2018 due to a broken pipe, but there were problems finding a vendor so the issue was tabled by the Rensselaerville Town Board at the time. Now, the leak appears to be getting worse, says Ed Csukas, who chairs Rensselaerville’s water and sewer advisory committee. “It’s getting close to being urgent,” he said, “but hopefully not an emergency.”

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