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Winners, losers...and every vote counts

November 7, 2019 05:49 pm

What began six months ago at caucuses and conventions ended Tuesday with voters getting the final word. Election Day 2019 is over but the story isn’t, and it won’t be until all the results are signed, sealed and certified by the boards of elections in Greene and Columbia counties.

Two fundamental outcomes are possible in elections. Voters can maintain the status quo or make an unexpected change in the status quo. On Tuesday, voters shied away from change and stayed the course. Incumbents were elected in large numbers. Voters did the expected thing. Peter Kusminsky was elected Greene County sheriff. Paul Czajka was re-elected Columbia County district attorney.

Unexpected change was rare Tuesday. One notable exception came in Hudson, where incumbent Alderman Rich “Trixie” Volo was ousted. Newcomer Malachi Walker will succeed Volo. Incumbent Alderman John Rosenthal will return to office.

After Labor Day, the traditional start of campaign season, many candidates came out swinging. The most hotly contested races were for this year’s top trophies: Greene County sheriff and Columbia County district attorney. Eight candidates — four for supervisor, four for councilman — went toe to toe in Cairo. And then there were seven, when incumbent Town Supervisor Daniel Benoit announced he would not seek re-election. Six candidates grappled for two seats on the New Lebanon Town Council.

As always, there was the annual reminder that, yes, every vote counts. For proof, see the race between Doreen Davis and Dale Finch for Catskill Town Supervisor. When the dust settled Tuesday night, Finch led Davis by a mere two votes. The people have spoken, but the fat lady hasn’t sung just yet.