Longtime activist Peggy Kownack is throwing her hat in the ring for an At Large seat on the Troy City Council.
“I've submitted my resume for consideration as a candidate for Troy City Council At-Large to the Democratic Party and am waiting for an interview to be scheduled,” said Kownack, who is a regular attendee – and vocal participant - in nearly every Council meeting.
She said she was also contacted by people in the Working Families Party to run on their line as well.
Kownack is involved in a number of civic organizations and activities, most notably breathing new life into the Troy Central Little League.
While Kownack is a longtime enrolled Democrat, the fact the WFP approached her too is telling.
Council President Rodney Wiltshire announced he is running to replace Mayor Lou Rosamilia, who opted not to seek a second term, but he does not have the blessing of the Democratic Party proper, namely Chairman Tom Wade. He does, though, have strong support within the WFP.
Wiltshire said he too will send a resume and interview in front of the Democratic Party committee. There are some Wade Dem – I call them “Wade Dems” for the sake of clarity - names out there like Legislators Ed Manny and Cindy Doran, but no one other than Wiltshire has formally announced. Wade and Wiltshire, during individual appearances on TALK1300 said they are each prepared to primary.
While the mayor’s race will get most of the headlines – especially this year when there is a good chance of a GOP primary as well – all nine Council seats are also up for grabs.
Right now, on paper, the Democrats have a 7-2 majority. But, the real majority is an odd coalition of four Democrats – Wiltshire Dems - and two Republicans with three Democrats who remain loyal to the party left out of most, if not all, of the decision making.
It will be interesting if Wiltshire and the WFP can fill an entire slate to run against Wade Dem candidates or if they will target only certain seats.
Unlike Wiltshire, the other two At Large councilmembers – Lynn Kopka and Erin Sullivan-Teta – are Wade Democrats and it’s unclear if they will run again, if the Wiltshire Democrats will put up two more candidates or who the GOP will get to run for the three seats. It’s also not known if the Democrats will put up a third candidate to join Kopka and Sullivan-Teta on the ticket.
(As an aside, Kownack might be running with the Wiltshire Dems but she is far from likely to toe anyone’s line. We'll talk to her about it this Saturday on Talk1300.)
Here is a cursory look at the rest of the Council:
-In District 1, Councilman Jim Gordon, a Republican, has all but announced his intention to run for mayor - he is even holding a fundraiser on April 21. While it might be the only GOP stronghold in the city, people in the ‘Burgh will cross party lines for the right candidate.
-In District 2, Councilwoman Anastasia Robertson, a Democrat, is in Wiltshire’s camp and former Councilman Mark McGrath, an enrolled Conservative who ran with GOP support, is likely to run for his old seat. It’s not clear if the Wade Democrats will challenge Robertson.
-In District 3 incumbent Dean Bodnar, a Republican, has two more years before he is term limited out. Bodnar is a Republican but he is more independent than a party loyalist. With chaos running rampant across the ballot this year, it would not be a surprise if everyone just leaves Bodnar alone and focuses their fight in other areas.
-In District 4, Councilman Bob Doherty, a Democrat, is squarely in the Wiltshire camp. The district heavily favors Democrats so it will be interesting to see who the Wade Dems put up.
-In District 5, Councilman Ken Zalewski is term limited out. He is one of Wiltshire’s biggest supporters but all three factions – Wade Dems, Wiltshire Dems and the GOP – have a shot at this district.
-In District 6, Councilman Gary Galuski is also term limited out. He is a staunch Wade Dem but like District 5 it’s a toss-up.
One sure is it’s going to be a fun year in the Collar City.