Friday, April 10, 2009

To the Races

THE HOUSE RACE. As of this morning, as reported by the New York State Board of Elections, Scott Murphy led James Tedisco in the special 20th district congressional election by eight votes: 77,590 to 77,582. That tally is the last figure on votes actually cast by lever-pull at polling stations in the district's 10 counties, plus some absentee ballots. Of those, 598 went to Murphy, 522 to Tedisco. (UPDATE. As of 10am today, the Board put out new figures putting Murphy ahead by 46: 77,773 to 77,727. Everything below is based on last night's report] ------The tallied absentee ballots represent a fraction of all that were returned in time to be counted. Those 6726 ballots, moreover, do not include "military" and "federal" mailed ballots. Of those, 1918 were applied for, 403 have been returned, and more can still arrive and be eligible for inclusion. ------The absentee ballot count, the Elections Board's report said yesterday (4/9), is complete for only three counties: Delaware (Murphy, 139; Tedisco, 119), Otsego (Murphy, 51; Tedisco, 60) and Rensselaer (Murphy, 221; Tedisco, 202). Three counties (Columbia, Dutchess, Greene) have reported incomplete tallies of absentee votes. Uncounted so far are absentee ballots from Essex, Saratoga (populous, Tedisco-leaning), Warren and Washington counties. Those Rensselaer County figures can be viewed as auspicious for Murphy. His 52% majority came from a pool of ballots returned by more Republicans and Conservatives by registration (211) than Democrats, Independence Party and Working Families Party members by registration (155). In addition, absentee ballots were cast by 91 non-aligned voters. In this case, Murphy snared some Republican votes, or won heavily among independents, or both. ------Of district voters who returned absentee ballots, 3111 are Republicans and 77 are Conservatives by party registration, while 2394 are Democrats, 157 are Independence Party adherents, 11 are Working Families partisans, and 976 (!) are otherwise inclined. Those figures look auspicious for Tedisco. So do the numbers by county of residence. Absentee ballot returns, by county, ranged in number from 169 (Otsego) up to 1841 (Saratoga, the most populous county in the district, and pro-Tedisco territory). ------In GreeneLand, 457 absentee ballots were returned in time, and an incomplete count yesterday gave Tedisco a lead of 106 to 97. Those votes came from a pool composed of 48% Republicans by registration, 32% Democratic. As between the 10 counties or portions of counties that make up the 20th congressional district, Columbia gave Murphy his strongest margin of support at the polls (56%), while Greene gave Tedisco his biggest margin: 55%. ------GreeneLand's cumulative result came about amid substantial geographic variations. Among the county's 14 voting divisions, Tedicso gained majorities in all but one (Hunter) but his margins ranged from tiny (51% in Catskill, and 52-54% in Athens, Coxsackie, Jewett) to crushing (Ashland, 71%; Prattsville and Cairo, 65%; Windham,63.5%). ------The GreeneLand voting also was noteworthy in that votes cast for Tedisco on the Conservative Party line (921) exceeded votes cast for Murphy on the Independence and Working Families lines combined (663). THE VILLAGE RACE. While Murphy and Tedisco were virtually tied at the end of voting on March 31st, voting in the Village of Catskill on the same day, for local offices, brought clear results. Incumbent trustees James Chewens and Patrick McCulloch were turned to office, with 259 and 276 votes, while new candidate Eileen Porto Rosenblatt fell short with 176 votes (as reported in The Daily Mail, 4/1). The victors immediately met with the other incumbent trustees, Angelo Amato and Joseph Kosloski, and re-elected Vincent Seeley as Board President (and/or Mayor). (Incidentally, Mr McCulloch is no longer, as of March 13th, deputy highway superintendent for the Town of Catskill. He now works for Mr Seeley's private company). ------Meanwhile, Village Justice William Wooton, unopposed, was returned with 329 votes. (I wrote incorrectly in a previous blog that Mr Wooton first came into office by way of appointment to succeed the departed David Leggio. Actually, Veronica Kosich succeeded Mr Leggio, and Mr Wooton succeeded Ms Kosich). SCHOOL BOARD RACES. Next on the electoral agenda for GreeneLanders are school board and school budget elections, to be held on May 19th. Prospective candidates for election to five boards must submit petitions, duly completed, by April 20th. GET BUSY. UPCOMING. To learn what's happening in Catskill this weekend, do NOT try the official website . The Events link there evidently has been sabotaged. Not duly publicized, consequently, are highlights of the Second Saturday Strolls promotion. One of them is a soft opening of Matt Kovner's shop, Hudson Valley Historics (390 Main St) featuring artwork by Paul Fero that forms a backdrop for the main scene in a forthcoming movie about the poet Allen ("Howl") Ginsberg. Another Saturday treat could be the appearance, at The Candyman, around 5pm, of the Easter Bunny.

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