GOP looking for early start in Colonie election

CaptionCloseColonieWith Colonie Republicans making inroads on the Town Board the past two elections, the GOP is looking to get a head start this year in announcing its nominees.George Scaringe, the new town party chairman, said he began interviewing potential...

GOP looking for early start in Colonie election

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With Colonie Republicans making inroads on the Town Board the past two elections, the GOP is looking to get a head start this year in announcing its nominees.

George Scaringe, the new town party chairman, said he began interviewing potential candidates in late November and early December, and he expects to name a full slate the first week in March.

"It's a different party now, a different process," Scaringe said.

Two years ago, the party didn't unveil its Town Board candidates until May and its supervisor nominee until June.

Republicans ruled Colonie for a century until Supervisor Paula Mahan and Democrats won a majority a decade ago. Two years later, they held every board seat.

But Democratic dominance of the Town Board took its first hit four years ago, when Republican David Green won one of the six board seats. Two years ago, the GOP's Jennifer Whalen and Christopher Carey joined him, evenly splitting the six board seats between the parties. Since Mahan is a voting member too, the Democrats have a one-vote majority.

While the supervisor must run every two years, the Town Board terms are for four years. Every two years, half the seats are up for a vote.

Green is up for re-election this year, as are incumbent Democrats Linda Murphy and David Rowley. Murphy is expected to run again. Rowley said he has not decided but expects to do so within the next four weeks.

Scaringe said he sought to get started earlier than usual to improve his candidates' chances.

"For the last two months, I've been interviewing potential candidates," Scaringe said. "I've been pleased with the response I'm getting."

Green will run again, he said, and he has four people interested in the other two seats. He declined to name the individuals.

He has a candidate in mind for supervisor, but Scaringe said he's not ready to say who that person is either.

"The first week of March, we should have a full slate to go public with," he said. "We're going to have a very active campaign, a very positive campaign."

Mahan is expected to seek re-election to a sixth term.

This will be the first town election since the death of former Democratic Town Chairman Richard Jacobson last year.

Ellen Rosano is the new chairwoman of the town party. She is married to Town Board member Paul Rosano, who is not up for re-election this year.

"He certainly was a tremendous loss," she said of Jacobson. "He was so knowledgeable about elections and election law, targeting voters, so many nuances you need to know, but I have a good team. I am optimistic. I know from working on my husband's three campaigns what it takes."

The Democrats put out a notice in late January that they are looking for candidates. Rosano said she hopes to have a slate ready in six weeks.

"People will have to work hard. It is a commitment," she said. "You work all summer and you work all fall."

The Republicans hold all other elected positions in the town, and Democrats in recent elections have not run anyone against them: Town Clerk Elizabeth DelTorto, Receiver of Taxes C. Michele Zilgme and town justices Norman Massry and Andrew Sommers. Peter Crummey, the other Republican town justice, is not up for election this year.

tobrien@timesunion.com • 518-454-5092 • @timobrientu

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