Election races take shape in town

BY KRISTIN SCHULTZ

Gazette Reporter

NISKAYUNA — Election season has arrived in Niskayuna, and this year will see some candidates fighting for seats and others running unopposed.

Democrat Joe Landry is seeking his sixth term as town supervisor. He will face off against Republican Yasmine Syed.

Two Town Board members will seek to keep their seats — Democrats Denise Murphy McGraw and John Della Ratta both filed petitions to run. Republican Thomas McGarry and Anthony Simone filed petitions to run against the incumbents.

Town Clerk Michele Martinelli, who is also recording secretary for the Niskayuna Democratic Committee, filed general objections against the three Republicans July 17. She then had until July 24 to file specific objections, which, if upheld, would remove the candidates from the November general election ballot.

By July 24, the only specific objection Martinelli had filed was against Simone’s Conservative Party petition, challenging 23 of the 24 signatures he had gathered. The objection will be reviewed by the county Board of Elections, with a final determination likely by July 28.

Simone also filed a petition on the Republican Party line. That petition stands and Simone is slated to appear alongside McGarry on the Republican line on the November ballot.

If Simone’s Conservative Party petition stands, he will face a primary in September. Murphy McGraw and John Della Ratta also filed petitions on the Conservative Party line, and since there are only two seats available, there would be a primary Sept. 12 to determine which two candidates will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot as Conservatives.

Murphy McGraw and Della Ratta also received petition signatures from the Democratic Party, the Working Families Party, the Independence Party and the Women’s Equality Party. Simone filed petitions under the Reform Party as well.

This means that, regardless of the primary results, voters will be able to choose from all three candidates in November.

Town Justice Peter Scagnelli will run unopposed, as will Tax Collector Diane Percy. Martinelli is not up for reelection this year.

All current elected officials in town are Democrats.