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Spafford election needs absentee ballots for final results

Two candidates separated by only three votes

Democrat Chris Fesko, left, won the Spafford special election for a two-year term on the town board and Democrat Lou Hanlon, right, is currently three votes ahead of fellow Democrat Kathy Bragg-Adams for one of the two four-year seats on the board.

Democrat Chris Fesko, left, won the Spafford special election for a two-year term on the town board and Democrat Lou Hanlon, right, is currently three votes ahead of fellow Democrat Kathy Bragg-Adams for one of the two four-year seats on the board.

— Democrats won two of the three town board seats in Spafford on election night, although the vote difference between two candidates was so close that exactly which candidate will end up on the board is still uncertain.

The election, especially candidate stances on hydrofracking, had so galvanized Spafford residents that the final numbers showed a 45 percent voter turnout in the town with 1,239 total registered voters.

In the special election for a two-year term as town councilor, Chris Fesko (Dem.) easily defeated Joyce Larrison (Rep.), 311 votes to 234 votes. Fesko will fill the remaining two years of her late husband, Rick Fesko’s, term on the board.

In the races for the two four-year term seats on the town board, incumbent Jeff Ireland (Rep.) handily won reelection with 318 total votes — the most votes of any candidate.

The winner of the second town board seat is, as of press time, uncertain. Democrat candidates Lou Hanlon and Kathy Bragg-Adams ended only three votes apart, 261 for Hanlon and 258 for Bragg-Adams, making the final decision determinate on absentee and affadavit ballots. The final candidate for town board, Republican Tom Abbot, received 222 votes.

According to the Onondaga County Board of Elections, 17 absentee ballots were requested in Spafford and 14 have been returned. The ballots will be opened by the Onondaga County Board of Elections at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 17.

“Congratulations to Lou and Kathy for a vigorous campaign and for the election of one of them to the Town Board,” said Spafford Town democratic Chair Jim O’Connell. “This shows the importance of every vote.”

Candidate Lou Hanlon, currently ahead in the vote count, said he was pleased at such an excellent voter turnout. “People told me there was more excitement in this election than any in recent memory,” Hanlon said. “It was a hard fought campaign, but I had a really good time. Every [issue] was brought forth we wanted to bring forth.”

Hanlon said the final vote count will be tight, and he will be present at the board of election for the absentee ballot count on Nov. 17.

In Spafford’s uncontested election races, Town Supervisor Webb Stevens received 348 votes for his reelection, with nine write-in votes also tallied; Tax Collector Heidi J. Adams received 390 votes, with 2 write-in votes also tallied; and Highway Superintendent Carl F. Wiers received 435 votes.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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