Backus wins open seat on Niskayuna school board

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NISKAYUNA — The Niskayuna Central School District’s Board of Education is back at full strength.

Brian Backus defeated Christina Calabrese and Noney Grier in a special election on Tuesday to win the seat vacated by Patricia Lanotte in July.

Backus expressed gratitude to his family for their support and his friends for their encouragement.

“I look forward to working with the board and the superintendent to continue the mission of Niskayuna schools,” Backus said. “[It’s about making] every decision based on what’s best for kids.”

Backus will be sworn in at the next school board meeting on Oct. 24 and will serve out the rest of Lanotte’s term, which goes until June of 2019.

More than 900 votes were cast. Backus garnered a total of 511 votes, Calabrese earned 284 and Grier 112.

Grier was on hand for the results and congratulated Backus on his win.

“I am happy to see you win tonight,” Grier told him. “I know I ran against you but you were the best candidate.”

Poll workers observed that while not many voters turned up during the day, the number of voters picked up in the evening. The last voter walked through the door at 8:58 p.m., two minutes prior to the polls closing.

The ballots were counted and Backus announced the winner by 9:15 p.m.