September 11, 2013

Primary Day ends with a few surprises


---- — PLATTSBURGH — A resounding win by Democrat Rachelle Armstrong over the City of Plattsburgh Ward 1 Council incumbent highlighted primary elections in Clinton County.

There was at least one surprise in Essex County on Tuesday night, as incumbent Ticonderoga Town Supervisor Debra Malaney lost the Republican race to her challenger, Bill Grinnell, a retired local contractor.


Armstrong tallied 142 votes to Tim Carpenter’s 20 for the unofficial win. There were 738 eligible voters in the primary.

“I feel like I worked very hard getting out there and meeting people and spending time with them and listening to their concerns, and I think people responded to that,” she said, happy with the results.

Carpenter was elected in 2007 and 2010, but in a surprise move, party leaders gave the endorsement to Armstrong in a caucus in March, setting up the primary.

Armstong hopes Tuesday’s win will provide momentum for the race to come, in which she faces Republican William Ferris.

“I feel like I made a connection with people, and this is about community-building and getting on board together, and I think people are interested and energized, and I hope they will join me,” she said.

Carpenter was disappointed.

“I just want to thank the residents of Ward 1 for allowing me to serve them the last six years,” he said.

“I think I worked hard doing what I thought was right — keeping taxes down, saving jobs and providing good services. 

“Congratulations to Rachelle and good luck to the next council.”


In Ward 3 in the city, Justin Meyer won the Democratic Party primary over Kathleen McCleery by an unofficial count of 59 to 23 with three write-in votes still to be counted. There were 747 eligible voters.

“I really got out there and spoke to a lot of people, and I think my message was well received,” Meyer said.

“By being in a primary, that gave me a chance to get out early and connect with people, and we will try to keep that going.”

McCleery could not be reached for comment.

Meyer will face Republican Dale Dowdle in the November election.


In the City of Plattsburgh mayor’s race, James Calnon, the only listed candidate on the Independence Party ballot, took 45 votes for the apparent win.

There were 27 write-in votes that will be counted on Wednesday.

There were 656 eligible voters in the mayor’s race for the Independence Party line.

Mark Tiffer, the Democratic candidate, and Chris Rosenquest, an independent candidate, were also seeking to win the Independence primary, but their names were not on the ballot.

They had to rely on write-in votes; it did not appear that enough came in to overcome Calnon’s lead.

“I spent a lot of this campaign talking about my qualifications in general and my positions are in line with a lot of the Independence Party positions, and I think people received that well,” said Calnon, the Ward 4 councilor who will be on the ballot as a Republican in November.

“But this is a small sampling, and we will have a full election in the fall, and I am encouraged.”


Tiffer, a councilor from Ward 2, said he was not too discouraged by the results.

“This was just an opportunity to gauge how my message was being received by a small portion of the electorate,” he said.

“I will make sure that in the rest of the campaign that I convey my message in a manner that the public understands, and in the end, I think they will receive it well.”

Rosenquest is running for the general election on the independent Plattsburgh Renewal Party. He recently moved back to Plattsburgh after spending the last 14 years in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.

“I want to thank the voters for coming out and all the volunteers for their hard work in getting the vote out,” he said.

“Forward progress does not happen overnight. There are roadblocks and bumps, and our job now is to keep the momentum going forward and give all the voters the opportunity to speak.”


In the Independence Party primary for the Clinton County treasurer’s race, the results were too close to call.

Susan Polhemus was on the ballot as the party’s endorsed candidate. She will also be running as a Republican in November.

Democrat Kimberly Davis sought the Independence Party primary victory by encouraging party members to cast write-in ballots for her.

The count Tuesday night showed Polhemus with 80 votes, and there were 82 write-ins.

Republican candidate Gerard Renadette was listed on the ballot as the Independence Party candidate in Clinton County Legislature Area 4, which covers the Town of Plattsburgh. Democratic candidate Colin Read ran as a write-in candidate. 

There are 410 registered Independence Party voters in the district. There were 41 ballots cast, and Renadette received 21 of the 37 that were accepted.

Read could not be reached for a response as of 11:30 p.m.



Republican Rick Perry was listed on the ballot as the Independence Party candidate in Area 10, which covers wards 4 and 5 in the City of Plattsburgh. Democratic candidate Robert Hall ran as a write-in candidate.

There are 269 registered Independence Party voters in the district. There were 49 ballots cast, and Perry received 17 of the 41 that were accepted.

Hall said it was not yet known who received the write-in votes. He was pleased that people did get out and vote in the primary.

"I hope those 24 votes are for me," Hall said.

Perry said he will continue to move forward as the Republican candidate. His campaign is based on responsible development and promotion of the region's attributes.

"I will continue on my mission to display my qualifications to the public," he said.



Republican James Wemette was listed on the ballot as the Independence Party candidate for the City Council in Ward 6. Write-in candidates who campaigned were Democrat Josh Kretser and incumbent Democrat councilor Chris Jackson, who plans to run as an independent.

There are 71 registered Independence Party voters in the district. A total of 6 votes were cast, and Wemette received four.

He said having the Independence Party line is important to his campaign, which is based on Lean Six Sigma efficiency practices and accountable government.

"There is a minority of Republicans in the district, so I think this is critical," he said.

Kretser said that, with the Democratic and Working Family lines, he has a strong network of supporters.

"In November, no matter what happens, I will continue to work as a force for change in the City of Plattsburgh," he said.

Jackson expressed congratulations aimed at Wemette on Tuesday’s results. He will continue to run as an independent on the Experience Matters party.

"We'll see what happens in November," Jackson said.


The write-ins will also be counted on Wednesday, and about 70 absentee ballots will be tallied within a week.

“I feel really good,” Davis said Tuesday night. “I believe a significant number of absentees will be for me, but we won’t know for sure until then.”

Davis, who ran as Kimberly Kleist and lost a close race in 2007 to Republican Joseph Giroux, said she worked hard trying to win the Independence primary even though she was not on the ballot.

“We spent a lot of time educating people about the write-in process, and I am confident that we have a good shot,” she said.

Polhemus did not return messages from the Press-Republican seeking comment.

Giroux is retiring and not seeking re-election this year.

Tuesday’s results in all Clinton County races are unofficial and will be updated Wednesday after the write-in ballots are counted. There were several write-in ballots in races around the county in what is known as an opportunity to ballot.

Absentee ballots for all races will also be counted in about a week.


In Ticonderoga, the town supervisor expressed disappointment over her loss to Grinnell.

But she said she is looking forward to the general election, when she’ll be on the ballot as an independent.

“I’m going to be going door to door,” Malaney said. “I have to work hard.”

Incumbent Minerva Supervisor Sue Montgomery Corey won the Democratic primary over her opponent, Stephen McNally, a town councilor.

Corey said she was excited to have taken her race.

“Minerva is a small town,” she said. “I appreciate the support.”

McNally is running as an independent and will be back in November.

Only nine towns had primary races, and most candidates also filed as independent and will still be on the Nov. 5 general election ballot. 


In Franklin County, Carl Sherwin beat out Paul Hogan in the Democratic primary for Legislature District 4.

He will try to unseat incumbent Marc “Tim” Lashomb (R-Malone) in the November election.

Here are unofficial results from races around Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties:


Area 4 legislator: Gerard A. Renadette (I), 21, with 16 untallied write-ins.

Area 10 legislator: Richard S. Perry (I), 17 votes; 24 write-ins yet to open.

Treasurer: Susan E. Polhemus (I), 81 votes and 83 write-ins yet to tally.


Mayor: James E. Calnon (I), 45 votes; 27 write-ins not tallied yet.

Common Council Ward 1: Rachelle C. Armstrong (D), brought in 142 votes to best Timothy R. Carpenter (D), 20.

Common Council Ward 3: Kathryn I. McCleery (D), with 23 votes, lost to Justin R. Meyer (D), 59. Three write-in votes were cast.

Common Council Ward 6: James R. A. Wemette (I), 4 votes; 2 write-ins yet to tally.


Town Council: Sherman P. Dubrey got 11 Independence Party votes and 11 write-ins not opened yet and 2 votes on the Conservative line, with 9 write-ins yet to tally.  

Town clerk/tax collector: Kelly M. LaFountain (I), 19 votes. 


Highway superintendent: Lloyd J. Clukey (I), 1 vote; 1 write-in.


Highway superintendent: No listed candidate; no voters turned out. (C).


Town supervisor: Peter G. Glushko (C), 7 votes; 0 write-ins.

Town Council (two seats): Donald F. McBrayer, 6 Conservative Party votes; 18 Independence, with 1 untallied write-in.

Town clerk/tax collector: Kathleen K. Flynn: 7 votes on the Conservative Party line with 1 write-in yet to be opened; 25 on the Independence Party line with 10 write-in votes.


Town Council (one seat): No listed candidate; 5 Conservative write-ins.

Highway superintendent: No listed candidate; 4 Conservative write-ins, 1 Independence write-in.


Highway superintendent: Ryan Hall (R), 18; was beaten by Gary Manley (R), 121.


Tax collector: Kathleen Robertson (R), 51; beat Brenda Sullivan, 38.


Supervisor: Sue Montgomery Corey (D), incumbent, 56; won over Stephen McNally (D), 35.


Town council (two seats): Corey Steigleman (R), 28; lost to Timothy Garrison (R), incumbent, 77; and Lucille Carpenter (R), 74.


Highway superintendent: Mark Yandon (D), incumbent, 34; lost to John Helms (D), 55.


Town justice: William Tribou III (R), 148; won over Tracey Hanchett (R), 20; Cheryl Indelicato (R), 65; and Paul Mieras (R), 57.


Town supervisor: Debra Malaney (R), incumbent, 83; lost to Richard William Grinnell (R), 153.


Town council (two seats): Gerald Goulet (D), 18; lost to Russell Paquette (D), 24, incumbent; and Steven Viens (D), 27.


Town justice (two seats): Clarence Russell Jr. (R), 71; lost to Gregg Dickerson (R), 198; and Reginald Bedell (D), 27; beat Paula Lincoln (D), 10.

Town council (two seats): Lorilee Sheehan (R), 164; and Charles Lustig Jr. (R), incumbent, 152; bested Lane Sayward (R), 129; and Nancy Huestis (R), incumbent, 77.

Town clerk: Bridget Brown (R), 227; defeated Richard Sayward (R), 54.


Town clerk: Gerald Bruce (R), incumbent, 26; defeated Linda Lawrence (R), 13.


County Legislature District 4: Paul Hogan (D), 17; Carl Sherwin (D), 63.