Mark McGrath, the spirited eight-year former councilman from District 2 who was term limited out two years ago, is running for his old seat.
“It’s been difficult watching the Council and the administration become the focal point of failure and ridicule around the Capital District,” he said when asked why he was running again. “People are disgusted.”
McGrath interviewed with the Republican Party Selection Committee Monday night. The enrolled Conservative Party member needs the GOP’s permission to run on their line as he did in each of his four successful elections.
The incumbent, Anastasia Roberston, a Democrat, has not announced her intention to run again but she is stepping up her public appearances by holding marches in response to the recent shootings in her neighborhood.
Although Robertson ran with Democratic Party support two years ago, she has since aligned herself with Council President Rodney Wiltshire, who is running for mayor. Wiltshire has been at odds with the Democratic Party proper, namely Rensselaer County Chairman Tom Wade.
Wiltshire did interview in front of the party’s Selection Committee, but that body picked Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement District Executive Director Patrick Madden. Wiltshire, though, has said he will take his case to the full committee in hopes of getting their support and has vowed to run regardless of that committee’s decision.
That’s the long way of saying Robertson will likely not get the Democratic Party support should she opt to run again in District 2.
Two mayoral hopefuls, former Councilwoman Carmella Mantello and Councilman Jim Gordon, R-District 1, also interviewed in front of the Republican Selection Committee Monday. McGrath had also toyed with running for mayor but the GOP would not give him the Wilson Pakula - the party's permission - to run on its line.
All nine Council seats are up this year with Districts 5 and 6 being vacant as their respective represenatives – Ken Zalewski and Gary Galuski – are term limited out. Wiltshire’s vacated his At Large seat to run for mayor and should Gordon pursue his mayoral aspiration his District 1 seat will be vacant as well.