Long Energy Where "Service" Counts

Democrats sweep town council races in close contests

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By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

COEYMANS — Republican Town Supervisor George McHugh has been defeated by Democratic challenger Stephen Donnelly in the race for supervisor.

There will be no recount, according to the Albany County Board of Elections, as the difference in the final number of votes — 24 — does not meet the threshold for an automatic recount, and candidates are not permitted to request a recount, Albany County Democratic Deputy Commissioner David Cady said Thursday.

“Automatic recount doesn’t trigger unless it’s a difference of 20 votes or less,” Cady said.

Incumbent Town Councilmembers Brandon LeFevre and Marisa Tutay, both Republicans, were also defeated by Democratic challengers Ronald Hotaling and Michael Stott.

The town supervisor’s race was so close that it came down to absentee ballots.

Absentee votes had to be postmarked by Nov. 7 and received by Nov. 14, so the window for receiving absentee ballots has closed.

While the voting results are not yet official — they must first be certified by the board of elections — certification will not change the outcome of the election.

“We have to run the numbers countywide and the commissioners have to sign off on it,” Cady said. “We can’t certify yet because we have to recount other races. But there will be no recount for Coeymans.”

After all the ballots had been tallied, including absentee votes, Donnelly had received 883, or 50.63% of the vote, to McHugh’s 859 votes, or 49.25%, according to the board of elections.

In the race for town councilmember, Stott was the biggest vote getter of the election with 898, or 25.98% of the vote, with Hotaling a close second with 888 votes, or 25.69%. Incumbents LeFevre received 842 votes, or 24.36%, with Tutay receiving 826, or 23.90%.

Donnelly, Hotaling and Stott will be sworn into office at the town’s reorganizational meeting in the beginning of January.

Albany County Legislator Zachary Collins, R-37, was the only Coeymans incumbent to be re-elected. Collins, a Republican, won his second term in the Legislature with 1,150, or 68.29% of the vote, to challenger Kristen Geoghegan’s 530 votes, or 31.47%.

The town election results will change the structure of the town council, which for several years has been dominated by Republicans. The new makeup of the board will shift to a Democratic majority when Donnelly, Hotaling and Stott are sworn in. Republican incumbents Linda Bruno and Stephen Schmitt remain the lone GOP representatives on the board.

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