By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
RAVENA — What a difference a day makes.
On Monday, Republican Mayor Bill Misuraca lost the GOP nomination for the March village elections to Dominic Ruggeri. Twenty-four hours later, he was nominated unanimously by Democratic voters and will represent that party on the ballot.
The Democrats also nominated Republican Caitlyn Appleby, who won the GOP nod the day before and will be on both tickets, along with incumbent Village Trustee Linda Muller, a Democrat running for her second term in office.
Incumbent Democratic Village Trustee Mary Ellen Rosato decided not to run for re-election this time around.
Forty-two Democratic voters gathered at the Ravena firehouse for the caucus Tuesday evening and unanimously nominated all three candidates.
When Misuraca rose to thank the crowd, he was greeted with cheers and scattered chants of “Moose! Moose!”, his nickname.
“If you had asked me seven-and-a-half years ago where I would be tonight, I would have had a radically different answer,” Misuraca told the crowd. “But you almost made me cry — you are too kind and I really feel like this outpouring of support tells me that I am doing my job the way I am supposed to do my job. I appreciate it so much.”
Misuraca said after the caucus that he was “humbled and honored” to receive support from the community.
“It has certainly been a ‘curious’ past few days,” Misuraca said. “I gladly accept the Democrat nomination and I promise to continue to do everything I can to serve everyone equally and fairly. I have all the confidence in the world that Caitlin, Linda and myself will work effectively for the good of our entire community.”
Appleby will be on the ticket for both parties after getting cross endorsement from the Republicans and the Democrats. This is her first time running for office and she said the process is very new to her.
“I will be transparent in saying that I am not a politician,” Appleby said. “This is all very foreign and new to me and I appreciate everyone’s support in this room. I am a social worker — that is what I do — and I care very deeply about where I am from.”
She has worked on various community events and programs, including organizing the village’s Friendship Festival at Mosher Park and the Apple-A-Day Program.
“It wasn’t a networking opportunity for me, it was a chance for kids to build their resistance skills to risky behavior,” she said. “And the Friendship Festival isn’t just a ‘Friendship Festival.’ I look at that as a family engagement opportunity for parents who are working constantly and don’t have a lot of money, and want to enjoy time with their family and not have to break the bank.”
“With your support, I am going to be able to do more for this town and for this community,” she told the crowd. “I will try my hardest to make you proud.”
Muller, a retired physical education teacher, said she, too, was not “a politician” when she was first elected and learned to love the job.
“We have been so successful as a board working these past four years and I am so excited to work with them, plus Caitlyn, for the next four years,” Muller said.
Election Day will be Tuesday, March 15.