Fulton County clerk won’t seek re-election

JOHNSTOWN – Longtime Republican Fulton County Clerk William Eschler won’t seek re-election this year, but his deputy clerk will campaign for the post.

Eschler said Wednesday he won’t run another four-year term this fall. He is currently paid an annual salary of about $62,000 as clerk.

Deputy County Clerk Ann Nickloy, who began her county service in March 1998, said Wednesday she will run for Eschler’s post and will seek the Republican nomination. She currently earns about $40,000 per year.

The county clerk position is one of two countywide positions up for election in 2013, in what is due to be a busy election year in Fulton County. About 75 official terms will expire this year. The other top-level countywide post expiring this year is for county treasurer.

Eschler was elected county clerk in 1997 and took office in 1998. Prior to that, he served as deputy county clerk from 1980 to 1986.

“I think that’s long enough,” the 57-year-old Northville resident said of his service.

Asked about his future plans, Eschler said they are “totally different” from his recent career, but he didn’t specify.

Among his accomplishments as clerk, Eschler cited the fact he was among a core group of county clerks who stopped former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s attempt to allow illegal immigrants to receive New York state driver’s licenses.

Eschler said he sometimes regrets how “little leeway” he has under the law to help people in his clerk duties. But he said he was proud of modernizing and computerizing his offices.

“We’ve come as far as we need to,” he said.

The 60-year-old Nickloy, who has been in her position about 15 years, said Wednesday she would like to continue to run the clerk’s office as Eschler has done.

“I will say it’s a logical progression,” the Gloversville resident said. “We’ve done a good job.”

Nickloy noted she attended Schenectady County Community College and worked as a paralegal for KCS Abstract of Amsterdam before working for the county.

Other Fulton County offices expiring this year include 16 county supervisor positions, both of the Glove Cities’ mayors, council members in both cities, water board posts, Johnstown City Court judge, and numerous other town board and town office positions.

Michael Anich can be reached at johnstown@leaderherald.com.