The Little Falls Common Council will have four new faces in the coming year as a result of Tuesday’s election, according to unofficial results.
Incumbent Jeffrey Gressler, a Democrat, received 50.14 percent of the total votes cast to retain his First Ward seat. Republican Jonathan Shaffer, who garnered 25.07 percent of the vote to replace current First Ward Alderman Ronald Petrie, won the second open First Ward seat on the Common Council. Petrie did not seek re-election.
Gressler finished with 174 votes and Shaffer finished with 87.
Democrat David Gevry received 24.78 percent of the vote and finished with 86 votes.
In the Third Ward, incumbent Mark Ruffing, a Democrat, received 40.95 percent of the vote to retain his seat on the Common Council. Independent candidate Peter DeLuca received 25 percent of the total votes cast to earn the second Third Ward seat.
Ruffing finished with 95 votes and DeLuca finished with 58.
Independent candidate Michael Lonis received 19.4 percent of the vote and finished with 45 votes. Republican incumbent Third Ward Alderman Douglas Barnes received 14.66 percent of the total votes cast and finished with 34 votes.
Incumbents David Burleson and Elizabeth Deming were unopposed in the Second Ward and Daniel Carter and Helen Stransky were unopposed in the Fourth Ward.
Carter was appointed to the Common Council in September by Mayor Robert Peters to fill the seat formerly held by Patricia Long and Stransky will replace current Fourth Ward Alderman Richard Congdon. Congdon did not seek re-election.
HERKIMER COUNTY LEGISLATURE
Herkimer County Republicans reclaimed a seat on the county Legislature in Tuesday’s election, according to unofficial results.
Martin Luppino defeated Democratic incumbent Gary Hartman in the District 1 race by a vote of 262 to 202. Luppino, a Herkimer resident, received 56.47 of the total votes cast for the seat, while Hartman, also a Herkimer resident, received 43.53 percent.
Luppino said Wednesday he is “very thankful to have been chosen by the residents of District 1 to represent them on the Herkimer County Legislature.”
“I want to thank all of my friends, family, District 1 residents and fellow running mates for all the support they showed me during the election. I would like to wish Gary Hartman the best of luck in whatever his future endeavors may bring,” said Luppino. “I am looking forward to serving my district and the people of Herkimer County as their legislator, and making the residents of District 1 proud of the choice they have made.”
Hartman said Tuesday night he was “a little disappointed and somewhat surprised, but the voters have spoken and I have to accept that.”
“I want to offer my congratulations to Mr. Luppino and I wish him the best,” he added.
County Republicans also retained control of two open Legislature seats, as Robert Wellington defeated Democrat Robert Drumm, of Mohawk, by a vote of 155 to 115 for Jean Maneen’s District 4 seat. Maneen, a 10-year incumbent, did not seek re-election.
Page 2 of 4 - Wellington, a current member of the Ilion Village Board of Trustees, received 57.41 percent of the vote and Drumm received 42.59 percent.
“I’m very thrilled to have the opportunity to be able to help my county by serving on the Legislature,” Wellington said during a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon. “I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead. I’m excited for what’s next.”
Wellington added he respected Maneen for serving 10 years on the Legislature.
“The terms are for two years, but it’s not a two-year position. It takes time to get acclimated, so it’s important to have continuity,” he said. “For someone to give 10 years to the Legislature is commendable and shows dedication.”
John Stephens defeated Democrat David Murray for the District 6 seat held by Leonard Hendrix. Stephens, the current mayor of the village of Ilion, received 55.96 percent of the vote and Murray received 44.04 percent. Stephens finished with 202 votes and Murray, an Ilion resident, finished with 159.
“I’m looking forward to representing the village of Ilion on the county level,” said Stephens during a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon. “For me, this seemed like the next logical step. I began as a village trustee here in Ilion, continued on as mayor and now I am ready to serve the people on the county level. As a member of the Legislature, I will continue the positive work I began here in Ilion and will do my best to represent the people in my district. The hard work paid off and I’m excited to have this opportunity.”
Hendrix, a 37-year incumbent, did not seek re-election.
“I’ve known Len my whole life. I grew up with his son, Scott, and Len and my father were volunteer firemen in Ilion. He’s leaving some big shoes to fill, but I feel as though I’m ready to take on the challenge. Len is someone that can be counted on to accomplish things, and I will strive to continue along those lines,” said Stephens.
Stephens said Wednesday he did not know what his win will mean for the village.
“I am still looking into what this means for my mayor position. Once I have a definitive answer from our attorney, I will let everyone know,” he said.
Wellington also said he was unsure of what his win will mean for the village board.
“We have a meeting scheduled to discuss everything. All I know is that I can not serve on both the village board and the Legislature, so we will meet and talk about it,” he said.
In other contested Legislature races, Democratic incumbent Helen Rose, of Herkimer, received 55 percent of the vote to defeat Republican Thomas Powers, of Herkimer, for the District 2 seat. Rose finished with 407 votes and Powers finished with 333.
Page 3 of 4 - “There are many tasks before us here in Herkimer County and I remain willing to work with anyone who will do what’s best for the citizens of this county,” Rose said during a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon. “As legislators we have roll up our sleeves and make some difficult decisions, particularly when it comes to the jail issue.”
Rose added with the Democrats now in the minority by a count of 15 to 2, she hopes the Republican leadership will ensure minority members have a place on the Legislature’s committees. “Having a minority member on a committee does not jeopardize the vote of the majority. It just provides room for a minority opinion,” she said.
Republican incumbent Raymond Johnson, of Ilion, retained his District 5 seat with 59.4 percent of the total votes cast compared to Democrat Bridget Trevor-McKinley’s 40 percent. Johnson finished with 338 votes and Trevor-McKinley, also an Ilion resident, finished with 231.
Republican incumbent Vincent Bono, the current chairman of the Legislature, received 70.38 percent of the vote to retain his District 11 seat. Bono, of Frankfort, finished with 366 votes and Democrat John Werczynski, also of Frankfort, finished with 154.
“I’m pleased with the result and look forward to working with the three new legislators,” said Bono during a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon. “Together, we will work to keep Herkimer County fiscally strong and to address the concerns that are before us.”
Bono added bringing new jobs to Herkimer County will remain at top of the Legislature’s agenda. “Herkimer County over the past four years has added 1,000 jobs, not including the more than 800 jobs that were added at Remington Arms. Those 1,000 jobs include businesses and industries like Feldmeier Equipment, Burrows Paper Corporation, Granny’s Kitchen and Northern Safety. As legislators we have to continue to do our best to bring jobs to our county, because it’s jobs that will improve our financial outlook and ensure the stability of our county in the years to come,” he said.
Republican incumbent Frederick Shaw, of Little Falls, retained his District 16 seat by defeating Democrat Richard Souza, of Newport, by a vote of 545 to 362. Shaw received 60.09 percent of the vote and Souza received 39.91 percent.
Republican incumbent Bruce Weakley, of Poland, retained his District 17 seat by defeating Democrat David Maxwell, of Herkimer, and Green Party candidate Christine Shahin, of Newport. Weakley finished with 471 votes, Maxwell finished with 160 and Shahin finished with 56. Weakley garnered 68.56 percent of the total votes cast.
James Hall received 29.35 percent of the vote to earn one of two seats on the Fairfield Town Council. Incumbent Richard Lindsay won the second seat with 25.6 percent of the vote. Hall, a Republican, finished with 258 votes and Lindsay, a Republican, finished with 225 votes to win a four-way contest. Independent candidate James Spellman garnered 23.78 percent of the total votes cast and Democrat Larry Weakley garnered 21.27 percent. Spellman finished with 209 votes and Weakley finished with 187.
Page 4 of 4 - Republican incumbent Mary Dineen received 60.67 percent of the vote to remain town clerk. Dineen finished with 290 votes to Democrat Tara McCarthy’s 188.
Republican incumbent William Dillenbeck turned back a challenge from independent candidate Robert Carney, IV for highway superintendent by a margin of 250 to 247.
Republican incumbent Darlene Balio-Abbatecola garnered 37.86 percent of the total votes cast to earn one of two seats on the Frankfort Town Council. Incumbent Michael Testa, a Democrat, won the second seat with 32.46 percent of the vote. Balio-Abbatecola finished with 666 votes and Testa finished with 571. Democrat Mark Valent received 522 votes in the town council race.
Republican incumbent John Richard turned back a challenge from Conservative Party candidate David McManus for highway superintendent. Richard received 845 votes and McManus received 823.
Democrat Mark O’Sullivan received 39.76 of the vote to win one of two seats on the Litchfield Town Council. Republican Terry McKane garnered 31.19 percent of the vote to earn the second seat. O’Sullivan finished with 130 votes and McKane finished with 102. Republican Sean Davis finished with 95 votes in the town council race.
TOWN OF LITTLE FALLS
Republican incumbent Donald Cotton turned back a challenge from independent candidate Peter Campione for highway superintendent. Cotton finished with 278 votes and Campione finished with 234.
Republican incumbent Carl Stallman, Jr. received 412 votes to remain highway superintendent. Conservative Party candidate Gordon Robotham received 197 votes.
Republican incumbent Scott Bagetis garnered 67.11 percent of the vote to remain town supervisor. Bagetis received 153 votes and Conservative Party candidate Jerry Roberts received 32.89 percent of the vote and finished with 75 votes.
Independent candidate Karen Mowers received 56.39 percent of the vote to win the town justice seat from Republican incumbent James Krauciunas. Mowers finished with 128 votes and Krauciunas finished with 99.
Republican Ray Jenkins received 328 votes to best independent candidate William Young for superintendent of highways. Young finished with 171 votes.
Republican Larry Williams received 271 votes to best independent candidate Gary Lamphere for superintendent of highways. Lamphere finished with 77 votes.
Republican George Capek received 178 votes to defeat independent candidate Walter Rumrill, Jr. in the race for town supervisor. Rumrill finished with 119 votes.
Independent candidate Robert Johnson, Jr. received 110 votes to defeat Democrat Bernard Leavitt, Jr. in the race for town supervisor. Leavitt finished with 89 votes.
Democratic incumbent Jeffrey Doxtater garnered 321 votes to remain highway superintendent. Republican Maynard Baker finished with 188 votes.
GateHouse New York reporter Amanda Fries contributed to this article