Nov 08, 2013 Joe Genco Uncategorized
After the results came in at the end of Election Day last week, the Skaneateles Party candidates appeared to have won a sweep in the Skaneateles town supervisor and councilor races.
Though the races are technically too close to call with absentee ballots yet to be counted, Mary Sennett leads the race for supervisor over Jim Greenfield by 63 votes, according to the Onondaga County Board of Elections website as well as numbers reported from the three Skaneateles polling places Tuesday night.
Sennett received 1,237 votes to Greenfield’s 1,174.
In the race for town councilor Skaneateles Party candidates Connie Brace and Claire Robinson Howard have even more substantial leads over incumbent Republicans Steve McGlynn and Rick Keyes.
Brace received 1,270 votes, Robinson Howard 1,239, McGlynn 1,141 and Keyes 1,075.
Though the Skaneateles Party supporters celebrated a victory at the Bluewater Grill, the Republicans at the Sherwood Inn were not ready to concede the defeat until the absentee ballots have been counted and the results of the election are certified by the board of elections.
The county received 177 requests for absentee ballots from Skaneateles voters and it will still accept the ballots as long as they were postmarked on Election Day or earlier.
There could also be additional votes added in from affidavit ballots from people who could not verify their residence on Election Day.
The board of elections will tally the absentee ballots on Thursday, Nov. 14 and certify the results of the elections shortly after.
Sennett and Brace, who along with Robinson Howard are all registered Democrats and ran with the Democratic Party endorsement, said they were moved and excited by the great support they saw.
“I can’t believe it, it’s just overwhelming. To me this just speaks to the community that everybody’s ready […] let’s work together and be a community,” Sennett said.
Brace said that even if the results aren’t final, the voter turnout and support for their team of candidates was inspiring. “It’s a huge victory regardless, we see great opportunities for our town and village to come together and do great things for this community,” she said.
Sennett announced that Robinson Howard had had hip surgery that day and was unable to join them on Election Day, though she should be healed and ready to serve by January when the new terms officially start.
Though the additional votes would need to be overwhelmingly in favor of the Republican candidates to change the results of the races, the Republicans still held out hope and said they would not concede the races.
“We knew it was going to be a tight race, and it still is. I appreciate everything everybody’s done for us,” Greenfield said to the people gathered at the Sherwood Inn on Tuesday night.
“I’m definitely surprised, but we’re not going away,” McGlynn said about the results.
Voter turnout at the three Skaneateles polling places was strong after an election season that had included a lot of back and forth and rigorous debate over town issues. The total number of ballots cast on Election Day was 2,429, which means 44 percent of the 5,490 people registered to vote went to the polls.
At the Skaneateles hire hall on West Genesee Street, poll site manager Jim Lanning said that they had to get more ballots from the board of elections because they were already running out around 3 p.m.
If these results hold, Greenfield will be the only Republican member remaining on the five-person town board for the next two years. Sennett, Brace and Robinson Howard would join Democrat Nancy Murray on the board in January. Current supervisor, and Republican, Terri Roney chose not to run for re-election after four years spent in that office.
In a town in which registered Republicans outnumbered Democrats by more than 1,000, running on both the Democrat and Skaneateles Party lines proved to be an effective strategy for the leading candidates. Though most voters picked either the Democrat or Republican option, the Skaneateles Party option on the ballot garnered a bigger boost than the Republicans candidates’ Independence Party option did.
For example, in the race for town councilor, McGlynn received 987 Republican votes, while Brace only received 945 Democrat votes. However, Brace received 325 Skaneateles Party votes to McGlynn’s 154 Independence votes, which gave her a total lead of 129.
Sennett winning will also means she will resign her position on village board of trustees. She was elected in March of this year to a four-year term, which will eventually be filled by an appointment to be made by Mayor Marty Hubbard.
The results of the uncontested town races were as follows:
–Janet Aaron for town clerk: 1,984 votes
–Lori Milne for tax collector: 2,080 votes
–Allan Wellington for highway superintendent: 2,009 votes
Aaron and Milne will continue in their long-time roles with the town, while Wellington, a current highway department employee, will take over for Jim Card who will retire at the end of the year.
Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.