Light election year for county

JOHNSTOWN -Fulton County has only about a dozen elected positions expiring this fall – a different situation from roughly 90 government offices filled in 2013.

About half of the county’s 2014 political activity involves town justice races.

Political chairpersons of the county’s main parties said Monday they will still push hard for their candidates during this upcoming light local election year.

“We will do the state and the federal [races], but we will still look for candidates for the [local] positions that are up,’ said Fulton County Democratic Committee Chairman Ed Jasewicz.

Fulton County Republican Committee Chairwoman Susan McNeil also said local races are important.

“It’s really simple,” McNeil stated. “What I’ll do is I’ll concentrate on our local races.”

But she said the county Republican Party also will make sure the local races involving state legislators and congressmen get volunteer attention.

Fulton County’s fall elections – culminating with general election day Nov. 4 – is headlined by the office of county district attorney that expires in 2014.

Republican District Attorney Louise Sira said she plans to seek re-election to a fourth, full four-year term. She will make a formal announcement at a later date. She was first appointed district attorney by then-Gov. George Pataki in January 2002 and elected in November that year to her first term.

Countywide, Fulton County Board of Elections officials said there could be a coroner opening if Coroner Art Simmons retires this year.

Other races in the county for the fall ballot include a state Supreme Court justice vacancy, and the expiration of these town justice positions: Republican Broadalbin Justice Joseph W. Gilston Sr., Republican Johnstown Town Justice Donald Nadler, Republican Johnstown Town Justice Karen Palmateer, Republican Mayfield Town Justice John Papa and independent Stratford Supervisor Douglas Gardner.

The office of Republican Johnstown City Water Board Chairman Nicholas Cannizzo Sr. expires.

Village elections in March will involve only Northville, with vacancies for mayor and two trustees.

McNeil said she understands the importance of finding good candidates for town justice. She noted her husband is longtime Perth Town Justice Wayne McNeil.

Jasewicz said he can’t divulge at this time some of the Democratic interest already in the local races.

“We actually have had a couple people express interest in some of the vacancies,” he said.

He said there is one Democrat “very interested” in becoming Northville mayor.

State offices expiring this year in Fulton County include: state Sen. Hugh T. Farley, R-Niskayuna, of the 49th Senatorial District; and state Assemblyman Marc W. Butler, R-Newport, of the 118th state Assembly District.

Fulton County’s congressman – U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh – also is up for re-election.