hill country observerThe independent newspaper of eastern New York, southwestern Vermont and the Berkshires


News & Issues October 2021




Here are the major local candidates and referendum questions on ballots for the Nov. 2 election in New York and Massachusetts. A guide to political party abbreviations is in the box at right. Incumbents are marked with an asterisk (*).

A brief summary follows the candidate listings for each county. Because of space limitations, municipal-level races below the level of mayor or town supervisor are omitted except in the most populous communities.

In New York, polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 2. Early in-person voting is available from Oct. 23 through Oct. 31; times and locations vary by county. Voters must be registered by Oct. 8 to vote in this year’s election. Requests for absentee ballots must be made by Oct. 18.

In Massachusetts, polls are open on Election Day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in North Adams and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Pittsfield. To participate, voters must be registered by Wednesday, Oct. 13. Applications to vote by mail must be filed by Wednesday, Oct. 27.



North Adams mayor
Lynette Bond
Jennifer Macksey

In North Adams, Bond and Macksey were the top vote-getters for mayor among four candidates who competed in a Sept. 21 preliminary election. Macksey garnered 802 votes, while Bond received 611.
The winner on Nov. 2 will become the first woman to serve as mayor of North Adams. Two-term incumbent Tom Bernard is stepping down.

Bond, a member of the city Planning Board, previously worked in the community development office in the town of Adams. She currently is director of development for grants and research at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Macksey is assistant superintendent of operations and finance at the North Berkshire School Union. She previously worked at City Hall in the administration of longtime Mayor John Barrett III.
In Pittsfield, Mayor Linda Tyer is in the middle of her four-year term, but there are contested races for City Council seats representing four of the city’s seven wards, and six candidates are competing for the four at-large council seats. Ten candidates are competing for six seats on the Pittsfield School Committee.
Municipal elections in Massachusetts are nonpartisan.



Proposal 1 -- Apportionment and redistricting
A yes vote would make a series of changes to the redistricting process voters approved by constitutional amendment in 2014. That amendment created an Independent Redistricting Commission to draw the lines of the state’s legislative and congressional districts.


Several of the changes now proposed would, under Albany’s current balance of power, give

Democrats a stronger hand in the redistricting process. The specific changes proposed would:
• Alter the threshold for approving a redistricting plan when one party controls both legislative chambers from a two-thirds vote to a simple majority vote;
• require that, for the purpose of determining district populations, prison inmates be counted at their last place of residence before incaceration;
• require the state to count residents, including those who aren’t citizens, for determining district populations; and
• cap the number of state Senate districts at 63.


Proposal 2 -- Right to clean air and water
A yes vote would establish for each New Yorker a constitutional right to “clean air and water and a healthful environment.”
The change is strongly supported by environmental groups, who say it would give private citizens, such as those who were affected by PFOA contamination in Hoosick Falls’ water, more powere to go to court to seek prompt action against pollution, rather than having to wait for state agencies to act on their behalf.
Opponents, including state Sen. Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, have argued that the change will lead to unnecessary litigation and costs.


Proposal 3 -- Advance voter registration
A yes vote would delete a constitutional provision that now specifies that a citizen must registered to vote at least 10 days before an election to be eligible to participate. The change would allow the Legislature to establish a shorter time period between registration and elections.


Proposal 4 -- No-excuse absentee voting
A yes vote would delete a constitutional provision that now requires voters obtaining absentee ballots to attest that are unable to vote in person because of absence from their home county, illness or physical disability. The change would effectively allow anyone to vote by absentee ballot as a matter of convenience.


Proposal 5 -- New York City Civil Court
A yes vote would expand the jurisdiction of New York City Civil Court by allowing it to hear and decide claims for up to $50,000 instead of the current limit of $25,000.



County sheriff
* David P. Bartlett (R, C)
Donald J. Krapf (D, i)


Claverack supervisor
Kathleen Proper (D, WF)
* Clifford “Kippy” Weigelt (R, C)


Germantown supervisor
* Robert W. Beaury (D, C)
David L. Helsley (R)


Ghent supervisor
Mallory M. Mort (D, WF, i)
Craig Simmons (R, C, i)


Hudson city treasurer
* Heather S. Campbell (D, i)
Michael Hofmann (WF)


Hudson 2nd Ward supervisor
Tiffany Garriga (WF)
* Abdus Miah (D, C)


Hudson 2nd Ward alderman (2 seats)
Lee J. Bradshaw (R)
Mohammed Rony (D)
* Dewan Sarowar (D, C)


Hudson 5th Ward alderman (2 seats)
Rebecca R. Borrer (WF)
Vicky Daskaloudi (D, i)
* Dominic Merante (D, C)

Kinderhook supervisor
Matthew L. Nelson (D, i)
Timothy Ooms (R, C)
Stuyvesant supervisor
Lee Jamison (D, WF)
* Ron Knott (R, C)


In the only countywide race, Bartlett’s bid for a third term as sheriff is being challenged by Krapf, a Sheriff’s Office sergeant who says he wants to increase training regarding implicit bias and cultural sensitivity.

Only six seats on the 23-member county Board of Supervisors are contested. Two of those, in Ghent and Kinderhook, involve open seats where incumbents are stepping down. In Hudson, Mayor Kamal Johnson is unopposed for a second term.


County executive
Sara J. McDermott (WF)
* Steven F. McLaughlin (R, C)
Gwen Wright (D)


County clerk
Jason A. Cloud (WF)
Justan J. Foster (D)
* Frank J. Merola (R, C)


Family Court judge
Anne L. Coonrad (D, WF)
* Jill Kehn (R, C)


County legislator, District 2 (four seats; towns of East Greenbush, North Greenbush and Poestenkill)
* Robert W. Bayly (R, C)
* Leon B. Flacco (R, C)
* Thomas P. Grant (R, C)
Brenda Hammond (WF)
* Kelly C. Hoffman (R, C)
Sally H. Lauletta (D, WF)
Jennifer L. Massey (D, WF)
Robert B. Poltras Jr. (D, WF)
Jack Rogers (D)

County legislator, District 3 (three seats; towns of Brunswick, Pittstown and Schaghticoke)
Adriano C. Bongiorno (D)
* Daniel F. Casale (R, C)
* Kenneth Herrington (R, C)
William E. Maloney (R, C)


County legislator, District 4 (three seats; towns of Nassau, Sand Lake and Schodack)
* Scott H. Bendett (R, C)
Andrew M. Bulmer (D, WF)
Thomas Choquette (R, C)
Alexander R. Flood (D, WF)
* Robert R. Loveridge (R, C)
Shawntell E. Mills-Sanchez (D, WF)


County legislator, District 5 (two seats; towns of Berlin, Grafton, Hoosick, Hoosick Falls, Petersburgh and Stephentown)
Gary Contessa (D)
* Bruce Patire (R, C, WF)
* Jeff Wysocki (R, C, WF)


Poestenkill supervisor
* Keith A. Hammond (R, C)
Thomas J. Russell (D, i)


Sand Lake supervisor
Garrett E. DeGraff (D, WF)
Scott F. Gallerie (R, C)


Schodack supervisor
Charles J. Peter (R, C)
Tracey Rex (D, WF)


The marquee race will surely be McLaughlin’s bid for a second term as county executive. The conservative firebrand won a narrow victory four years ago and has since been at the center of a series of controversies -- including an allegation he sexually harassed a state Assembly staffer, which he has denied.

Wright, his Democratic challenger, is a former executive director of the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. If she wins, she’d be the first black woman elected to countywide office in Rensselaer County.



County sheriff
Norman G. Boyes (WF)
* Michael H. Zurlo (R, C)


Clifton Park town and county supervisor
Melissa L. Boxer (D, WF)
* Philip Barrett (R, C)


Malta supervisor
Mark E. Hammond (R, C)
Michael J. Williams (D, WF)


Milton supervisor
Barbara A. Kerr (i)
Scott T. Ostrander (R, C)
* Benny L. Zlotnick Jr. (D, i)


Saratoga Springs mayor
Robin O. Dalton (i)
Ronald J. Kim (D, i)
Maxwell Rosenbaum (WF)
Heidi Owen West (R, C)


Saratoga Springs county supervisor (two seats)
Bruce Altimar (WF)
* Tara N. Gaston (D)
Gabriel P. O’Brien (WF)
John F. Safford (R, C)
* Matthew E. Veitch (R, C)
Shaun D. Wiggins (D, i)

Saratoga Springs accounts commissioner
Samantha J. Guerra (R, C, WF)
Dillon C. Moran (D, i)
Angela T. Rella (i)


Saratoga Springs finance commissioner
Sierra J. Hunt (WF)
Adam W. Israel (i)
Joanne M. Kernan (R, C)
Minita J. Sanghvi (D, i)


Saratoga Springs public safety commissioner
David Labate (WF)
Tracy L. LaBelle (R, C)
James A. Montagnino (D, i)


Saratoga Springs public works commissioner
Donald J. Reeder (WF)
* Anthony “Skip” Scirocco (R, C)
Domenique C. Yermolayev (D, i)

Saratoga (town) supervisor
Paul F. Murphy (D)
* Thomas N. Wood III (R, C)


The most hotly contested races are concentrated in Saratoga Springs, where the campaign has focused on the city’s progress toward implementing policing reforms -- and the tactics of city police in responding to a series of racial justice protests. Four of the five seats on the City Council, including the mayor’s, are being vacated by incumbents who opted not to run again.




Glens Falls 4th Ward county supervisor
* Daniel Bruno (R)
John B. Reilly (D)


Queensbury county at-large supervisor (four seats)
* Doug Beaty (R, i)
* Brad Magowan (R, i)
P. Brent McDevitt (D, C)
* Rachel Seeber (R, i)
* Mike Wild (R, C)



Greenwich supervisor
James Nolan (D, i)
* Don Ward (R, i)


White Creek supervisor
Sean Cossey (R)
* James S. Griffith (D, i)


Only two of the county’s 17 towns have contested supervisor races, both involving first-term supervisors who narrowly defeated long-serving incumbents two years ago.

— Compiled by Fred Daley


C -- Conservative Party
D -- Democratic Party
G -- Green Party
i -- independent or unrecognized party

L -- Libertarian Party
R -- Republican Party
WF -- Working Families Party
* -- incumbent