Keep calm and vote

Keep calm and vote. Maybe that should be the Gloversville mayoral race mantra.

Without taking sides, here’s my thoughts on last Tuesday’s important Republican primary for Gloversville mayor between incumbent Mayor Dayton King and firefighter/challenger Bill Rowback.

Usually the Republican nominee is in pretty good shape. Not necessarily this time.

Remember, it’s a crazy election time in America, what with a Republican president fighting his own party and a Gloversville mayor seeking the GOP nod on a ticket with a Democrat.

Anyway, we all know by now Rowback unofficially is ahead by 57 votes with a 488-431 primary count, with at least 74 absentee votes returned and due to be opened totally by midweek.

There could be another 59 votes postmarked by Sept. 12 opened any day now if ruled valid.

All of this is aimed toward seeing which one — King or Rowback — can carry the word “Republican” in front of their name on Nov. 7.

I submit it actually all boils to a popularity contest at this point; which has little to do with politics.

It’s obvious both men are popular in the city of Gloversville — King was elected two terms and Rowback is the personable civil servant upstart.

But think about it. If you add all the above numbers, you get 1,052 Republicans that voted last Tuesday in Gloversville. That’s 35 percent of their party. That means 65 percent of the city of Gloversville’s 2,989 Republicans haven’t yet weighed in yet on the King-Rowback race.

And then there’s the 2,119 registered Democrats in the city of Gloversville that haven’t had a chance to blacken out their 2017 ballots yet. They represent 29 percent of the 7,226 total registered voters in the city of Gloversville.

Usually absentees tend to favor the person ahead and Rowback was ahead as of Primary night. But are Democrats going to automatically favor the Republican nominee?

Think popularity … like when Johnny ran against Sally in your straw poll sixth grade class election.

Rowback will also be on the independent line, and King on the Conservative line. Usually, such minor lines on the ballot don’t gather much attention, but they may this time.

And all this political nonsense brings me back to the Democratic Party, the perennial political non-factor in Fulton County.

There are 31,676 registered voters in Fulton County. There are twice as many Republicans than Democrats, a fact of life for decades here. Registered Republicans total 15,630 in Fulton County. Registered Democrats total 7,643 in the county.

Still, with all this GOP dominance, you would think the Fulton County Democratic Committee could put up at least one valid candidate for the Glove Cities mayoral races this year. Democratic retailer and union leader Phillip Carlson announced in April he was running for mayor of Gloversville, then never followed through. Had he done so, who knows? Maybe it would have been a replay of November 2013 when the late Michael Julius captured the Johnstown mayor’s office as a Democrat, splitting the Republican vote divided by Helen Martin and Scott Jeffers.

BTW, Republican Mayor Vern Jackson faces no opposition and will start a full four-year term next January.

∫The Fulton County Board of Supervisors last Monday established a new sustainable energy loan program in the county. Fantastic. The law says, in part: “It is the policy of both the county of Fulton …. to achieve energy efficiency and renewable energy goals, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support clean energy.” So explain to me why financing won’t be issued for solar farm businesses or wind farm facilities?

∫This small news staff recently wrote about: a newborn in critical condition allegedly from the fist of his father; two fatal crashes, including the death of an ATV driver with a family; a pedestrian struck by a car, 14 arrests involving possession, sale and transportation of narcotics in Gloversville; and the county coroner reporting heroin and opioid deaths on the rise. People demand good news 24/7, but sometimes it ain’t happening.

∫From February to May 2015 when he won NBC’s “The Voice,” I wrote over 30 front page or page two stories about town of Glen teen singing sensation, Sawyer Fredericks. Be looking for the popular musician to soon make big news again. I’ll be there.

Now, that’s good news.

The opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the newspaper or its editorial board.

By Patricia Older

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