September’s primaries will have a major impact on the race to replace Rich McNally, who is now a Supreme Court judge, as the Rensselaer County District Attorney.
Democrat Carmello Laquidara and Republican Joel Abelove both received permission from the Independence Party to run on its line so voters enrolled in that party will determine who will get the coveted “I” next to their name in November.
Also, while Laquidara got the Working Families Party permission – known as a Wilson Pakula – Abelove filed enough signatures to open the ballot up to write in candidates – known as an Opportunity to Ballot. A write in campaign is difficult, especially in a countywide race, but turnout is notoriously low in any primary and the smaller the number of voters the easier it is.
Laquidara did not collect signatures to force an OTB for the Conservative Party and Abelove received the party’s blessing.
Of the 93,578 active voters in Rensselaer County, there are 27,650 Democrats, 23,999 Republicans, 7,380 Independence Party members, 4,440 Conservatives, 1,147 WFP members and 282 members of the Green Party. There are 28,659 not enrolled in any party, according to the state Board of Elections as of April 1.
Invariably, there are those voters who just vote along straight party lines so having any minor party letter next to any candidates name is a plus in anyone’s book.
As of the latest filing, Laquidara had about twice as much money on hand as Ablove, $48,608 to $24,495, respectively.
Laquidara loaned his campaign $15,000 and also received $2,300 from noted defense attorney Cheryl Coleman. Abelove loaned his campaign $10,000.
Laquidara was the City of Rensselaer judge before resigning to become an assistant DA under Acting DA Arthur Glass. He previously ran an unsuccessful for county court judge. Abelove ran against McNally four years ago.