The Democrats endorsed their slate of candidates Saturday, bringing the total number running for the 10 open seats in the City of Troy to 30.
Yes, you read that right – 30 candidates running for 10 seats.
It will make for a crazy election season even by #troycrazy standards. And that is saying something. Politics has been a full contact Collar City sport dating to at least the 1870s and Bartholomew “Bat” Shea.
In addition to making things a whole lot of fun – and giving me something to write about – it’s refreshing. We live in an era where just 50 percent of the people eligible to vote actually exercise that war-given right, and there are far fewer taking an active role in their community or their government. And whoever does get elected won’t have an easy go of things. The budget is a mess, unions are screaming for contracts, infrastructure is crumbling and let’s not forget the federal probe going on right now.
And yet, 30 people step up to the plate.
Like them, hate them, tolerate them or never heard of them until now … hats off to the 30 people listed below.
Since the Dems were the latest to endorse I’ll start with them. According to Rensselaer County Chairman Tom Wade, the endorsed candidates were unanimous – with the exception of District 4 - in that only they were nominated.
Topping the ticket is, of course, Patrick Madden, who the party picked to replace outgoing mayor Lou Rosamilia. As it stands now – provided everyone gets enough signatures after petitioning begins on Tuesday - he first have to get by a primary with fellow Democrats Council President Rodney Wiltshire and newcomer Earnest Everett.
As an aside, the Democrats are not running a candidate for sheriff, Wade said during an appearance on Talk 1300, while the Republicans have three candidates vying for the spot: Pat Russo, Scott Ryan and Bob Ashe.
Those endorsed by the Democrats on Saturday
Mayor: Patrick Madden
At Large: Erin Sullivan-Teta
District 1: Laurie Ryan
District 2: Pamela Troue
District 3: Charlie Clifford
District 4: Barbara Jones Higbee
District 5: Lynn Kopka
District 6: Wayne D’Arcy
Those endorsed by the Working Families Party (with their party enrollment next to their name)
Mayor: Rodney Wiltshire (D)
At Large: Peggy Kownack (D)
Anasha Cummings (D)
David Martin (blank)
District 1: Jessica Ashley (G)
District 2: Anastasia Robertson (D)
District 4: Bob Doherty (D)
District 5: David Bissember (D)
District 6: Corey Jenkins (D)
Those endorsed by the Republicans:
Mayor: Jim Gordon
At Large: Carmella Mantello
District 1: Jim Gulli
District 2: Mark McGrath
District 3: Dean Bodnar
District 5: Tom Casey
District 6: John Donohue
Those not endorsed by anyone:
Mayor: Ernest Everett (A Democrat)
Jack Cox Jr. (Revolution Party)
Here is a breakdown of the likely major and minor party primaries. Get your score card out because you’re going to need it. While the September primary is going to be as confusing as it is interesting, the results, regardless of what they are, could leave nearly all 30 candidates on the ballot come November.
Patrick Madden, the longtime head of the Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, received the Democratic Party endorsement and will make an official announcement Monday. Council President Rodney Wiltshire did interview with the screening committee, and was at the committee meeting Saturday, but did not nominate himself. He is though, unlike Madden, an enrolled Democrat and is gearing up to primary Madden. Wiltshire also received the Working Families Party endorsement so he will be on the ballot in November regardless of September’s primary results.
Ernest Everett, also a Democrat, is a newcomer and provided he gets on the ballot he will likely siphon votes from Wiltshire in September’s primary. Jack Cox Jr., who tried to run four years ago but was bounced off the ballot, said he is going gather petitions to start his own party, the Revolution Party.
Waiting in the wings as the Dems battle it out is Councilman Jim Gordon, the Republican nominee.
They may as well take all nine candidates, put them in a cage and let them have at it. For starters, Sullivan-Teta is the only incumbent. The enrolled Independence Party member has permission to run in the Democratic Party primary. Her running mates, Cary Dresher and Carol Weaver are both enrolled Democrats and making their first run at office.
Peggy Knowack and Anasha Cummings are enrolled Democrats so they can, and will, run a primary for the Democratic Party nod. Martin isn’t enrolled in a party and will not be able to run in the primary. All three, though, were endorsed by the WFP.
On the Republican side, Carmella Mantello, who toyed with the idea of running for mayor, Kim McPherson and Andrea Daley, have Republican Party support and will all get a Wilson Pakula – the party’s permission – from the Independence and Conservative parties. But, expect Sullivan-Teta to also get Independence Party signatures so there will be a four-way primary for the three seats on that line.
(Just as a brush up for those who may not know: To run in a primary, you either have to be an enrolled member of that particular party or get the party’s permission, known as a Wilson Pakula. Either way, a candidate must get the required number of signatures. Another way to enter into a primary is an opportunity to ballot and that means a candidate has to get enough signatures to open the ballot up to a write in and anyone enrolled in that party can write in anyone’s name. It’s a difficult, nearly impossible, way to go about it.)
Incumbent Jim Gordon is running for mayor and the Republicans picked Jim Gulli to run in his spot. He will also have the Independence and Conservative party lines. Jessica Ashley is enrolled in the Green Party and has the Working Families Party nomination. Laurie Ryan was nominated by the Democrats Saturday.
Incumbent Anastasia Robertson interviewed with the Democratic Party Screening Committee but the nomination went to Pamela Troue. Robertson, however, is an enrolled Democrat so she will run a primary for that line and already has the Working Families Party support. Waiting in the wings is Mark McGrath, an enrolled Conservative who has GOP and Independence Party support.
Incumbent Republican Dean Bodnar will have that party’s blessing as well as the Conservative and Independence Party lines. The Democrats nominated Charlie Gifford, an Independence Party member who will likely primary Bodnar for that line. The Working Families Party did not endorse anyone.
Bob Doherty, the Democratic Party incumbent, will face a primary by Barbara Jones Higbee. Doherty will also have the WFP line and be on the ballot in November regardless of how he fares in the primary.
Lynn Kopka, who currently serves At Large, received the Democratic Party endorsement but David Bissember, also a Democrat, will primary Kopka. Tom Casey will have the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines. The seat is open because Councilman Ken Zalewski is term limited out.
The Democrats endorsed Wayne D’Arcy but the WFP endorsed Democrat Corey Jenkins while John Donohue will run on the Republican, Independence and Conservative party lines. The seat is open because Councilman Gary Galuski is term limited out.