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Columbia County election results incomplete

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    Kamal Johnson

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    Contributed photoThomas DePietro
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    Contributed photoPaul Czajka
November 6, 2019 07:41 pm

HUDSON — Residents and candidates across Columbia County woke up Wednesday morning to incomplete election results, as thousands of votes had not been added to the total tallies in races, many too close to call, in the general election.

Reporting errors caused Columbia County Board of Elections staff to halt counts at about 2:45 a.m. Wednesday, according to the county Board of Elections. The staff was sent home and, after getting some rest, returned later in the morning.

By noon Wednesday, election officials had tallied votes from Tuesday, with the exception of ballots that were unscanned. But more than 1,000 early-voting ballots remained uncounted for most of the afternoon. Columbia County had the highest percentage of early voters in the state, with 7.5%, or 3,371 of the 45,201 registered voters, visiting three designated polling places.

All election tallies are unofficial until absentee ballots are counted and the results are certified by the board of elections.

Here are unofficial results, minus early voters, for key races as of 4 p.m. Wednesday:

In the countywide race for district attorney, incumbent Republican Paul Czajka had 60 percent of the vote over his challenger, Democrat Eugene Keeler, who had 39 percent, as of Wednesday afternoon. Czajka had 9,255 votes to Keeler’s 6,028 of the more than 16,000 total ballots that were cast Tuesday.

“I am honored that the people of Columbia County have allowed me to continue to serve them,” Czajka said.

In Kinderhook, Patsy Leader, who ran on the Republican, Conservative and Independent lines, led against Peter Bujanow, 1,427-865, in machine votes cast Tuesday.

“I am overwhelmed, and I am honored,” Leader said in her speech at Republican headquarters at Ryan’s, 1009 Kinderhook St., Valatie, on Tuesday. “I worked hard but it wasn’t for me, it was for you guys [the party and voters]. And that is what we have to remember. It is not for ourselves.”

In Hudson, Democrat Kamal Johnson won the mayoral contest over incumbent Democrat Rick Rector, who shut down his campaign in September, 926-395, in machine votes Tuesday. After his primary loss in June, Rector remained on the ballot with Independent and Republican endorsements. But Rector ended his campaign Sept. 4 instead of running for either of those parties, calling himself a “proud, progressive liberal Democrat.”

Johnson will be Hudson’s first black mayor when he is inaugurated in January.

“Thank you to my family, my entire team, and supporters from all over, I am humbled,” Johnson wrote in a statement. “I want to thank Mayor Rector for everything he has accomplished over the past two years. It was never about me and him, it was about a new vision.”

In the race for Hudson Common Council President, incumbent Democrat Thomas DePietro led with 763 votes Wednesday afternoon; challenger Rob Bujan, who was running on the Republican, Conservative and Independent lines got 480 votes.

DePietro could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.