New mayors elected in villages

New mayors were elected in the villages of Fultonville and Fort Plain Tuesday night.

In Fultonville, village historian Ryan Weitz received 101 votes, while 60 write-in votes and five absentee ballots were cast. Weitz was the only candidate on the ballot Tuesday, after a challenge-of-petition error knocked interim Mayor George Donaldson off the ballot. Donaldson however remained an active write-in candidate.

The Montgomery County Board of Elections said it won’t sort through all of the write-in ballots until Thursday, but it didn’t matter exactly who they were cast for Tuesday because there weren’t enough of them to defeat Weitz.

“I am astounded by the turn-out alone. This was a hard-fought race between George and I,” Weitz said. “As far as what’s next, there are a lot of items on the agenda. Over the next two weeks before taking office, I plan to meet with the current village clerk, the newly appointed village clerk and the village trustees to get on the same page with as many people as we can.”

In Fort Plain, village clerk Dianne Hoffman released the results: Democrat Thomas Quackenbush was elected mayor with 201 votes, which was more than his opponent, Republican Mark Nearbin, who received 162. For the two open village trustee positions, John Vesp with 210 votes, and incumbent Michael Calbet, with 180 votes, were elected.

Quackenbush, in addition to being a Democrat, was also running on the Citizens for Consistency Party. The two Citizens for Consistency candidates running for village trustee were defeated, Tolga J. Morawski receiving 166 votes and Lou de Arajuo receiving 160 votes.

Quackenbush commended all of the candidates for running a clean campaign. He said it has been 20 years since he last served as mayor of Fort Plain, in 1997, and he’s ready to work with all of the elected candidates.

“I congratulate everybody just for running. I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and doing the work of the people who elected us,” he said.

In Hagaman, five candidates were running for three village trustee seats. The top three vote recipients were incumbent Paul J. Fryzel, who received 91 machine ballot votes and 4 absentee ballots, Michael Purtell, who got 80 machine ballot votes and 5 absentee ballots and Robin Ricci, 71 machine-ballot votes and 1 absentee ballot. Fryzel and Purtell are now elected to four-year terms, while Ricci will fill out the remaining two years of former village trustee Rodney F. Kowalczyk’s term. The candidates who came in fourth and fifth were John Hassfurter, with 61 machine ballots and 1 absentee ballot, and Paula Baldwin, 64 machine cast ballots and 4 absentee ballots.

By Patricia Older

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