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Marriott upsets Carr in Durham primary

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Marriott Republican Shawn Marriott won the Tuesday primary race in Durham for town supervisor.
September 13, 2017 - 11:30 pm

Town Councilman Shawn Marriott defeated Durham Town Supervisor William Carr Jr. in Tuesday’s Republican primary election.

“I’m excited,” Marriott said. “I did everything I could and I’m glad with the outcome.”

The Greene County Board of Elections, which provided unofficial results as they are accepting absentee ballots until Sep. 19, said Marriott received 54 percent of the vote and Carr had 46 percent.

Marriott, 38, recently filled a vacant seat on the town board for half a term as the deputy supervisor.

The lifelong Durham resident has been in law enforcement for 10 years and serves as a sergeant with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.

Marriott said the first thing he’s going to address once in office as town supervisor is the budget.

“We’ll do that before the first of the year,” he said. “After that, it’s going to be about getting our community back together and starting to move forward.”

Marriott said he’s looking forward to working with the rest of the town board.

“We have to work together if this town is going to move forward,” he said. “That needs to start from the top and I intend to set an example.”

Carr, who was seeking re-election for a fifth term as town supervisor, said despite the unofficial results, he’s ready to congratulate Marriott.

“Although it wasn’t by a huge margin, it was more than a few votes,” Carr said of his loss. “People make choices, times change and we go forward.”

Carr added that he wishes the best for Marriott.

“I hope he’s successful,” Carr said of Marriott. “If he’s successful, this town is successful and if this town is successful, all the years of work I’ve put in will continue to bear fruit.”

Carr said in the past, Durham held a Republican caucus and he’s glad the town decided to host a primary race instead this year.

“I was concerned that the caucus didn’t reflect how all the people in the town felt,” he said. “I’m thrilled we did it via an election as opposed to a caucus.”

For the councilman race, four candidates are fighting for two open seats in Durham.

Republicans Nick Nahas and Linda Sutton, who received 28 and 29 percent of the votes, respectively, were victorious over Republicans Carmel Rustick and Deborah Kennedy.

Nahas, 76, has served one full-term as councilman and is also the Durham town historian.

“I was very pleased,” he said about the primary race. “There was a much bigger turnout than they usually have as opposed to a caucus.”

Nahas added that if elected, he wants to continue to preserve the historic and rural character of Durham while also offering economic growth opportunities.

“I’d like to build on the progress we’ve made,” he said. “I hope to continue to be supported in the general election.”

In New Baltimore, registered Independent Party voters cast their votes in the Tuesday primary race.

Republican Jeff Ruso, an incumbent councilman and deputy supervisor, is running unopposed for town supervisor.

“Even though there was no opposition, it’s humbling to have people come out and vote for you,” he said.

Ruso said he intends to go door-to-door throughout New Baltimore talking to residents every weekend until the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

“I’m going to get a feel for their needs,” he said. “Not because I need the votes, but because I still need to do the right work to meet the needs of the residents.”

Ruso said he’s looking forward to working together with the Town Board.

“It’s about rolling up your sleeves and getting to work, especially at the town level,” he said. “Our town needs us to work well together and be open and accountable for our residents.”

Town Clerk Barbara Finke is also running unopposed for the position she has served in since 2014.

“I’m very happy the Independent Party voters supported me,” she said. “I’m thrilled to represent them on Election Day.”

The primary race was also an opportunity to ballot for the four candidates who are running for two open town council seats including incumbent Councilwoman Shelly VanEtten, Democrat Jim Eckl, Jake Colwell and Republican Kelly Downes.