The petitions nominating 14 candidates to the Democratic Party Committee from one side of the interparty battle were tossed out after commissioners at the Board of Elections ruled on specific objections and four candidates suffered the same fate on the other side.
There are still a slew of primaries in the City of Troy between those loyal to Democratic Party Chairman Tom Wade and those siding with Council President Rodney Wiltshire. The pro-Wade faction filed petitions for two committee members in all 30 Election Districts, while the Wiltshire team filed in two each in 26. So that means there will be primaries in at least 19 EDs.
Committee battles are rare and when they do occur it’s largely an inside baseball game. But, this war stands out because Wiltshire is going head-to-head against Wade in ED 8. Their running mates are Rev. Tim Sherman
and Rebecca Sweeney, respectively.
and Rebecca Sweeney, respectively.
Neither Wade nor Wiltshire will suffer on the surface should they lose the primary but the ancillary ramifications are very real.
For example, two years ago Wade, with relative ease, survived coup attempt at his chairmanship and while being a committee member is not a requisite of being chair, it’s a harder sell if he can’t hold onto his own seat.
Not being on the committee doesn’t disqualify Wiltshire of running for any office – Council or mayor – but he did pick a fight with Wade and by extension a good many on the committee who generally are called upon to do the grunt work of any campaign. Also, the same could be said of him should he end up on the losing end of the primary that will be decided by less than 50 voters: “How can you vote for him when he couldn’t even win a committee seat.”
In a very real sense, since the primaries are largely confined to the City of Troy and likely won't impact the county committee configuration, the battle for the committee comes down to a grudge match between Wiltshire and Wade. And as far as inside baseball goes, it doesn’t get too much more fun than a sitting Council president taking on the sitting county chairman of the same party.
Anyway, the petitions that were disqualified by Commissioners Ed McDonough and Larry Bugbee, a Democrat and Republican, respectively, are as follows:
On behalf of the Wiltshire camp
-In ED 17, Michael LoPorto and William Dunne were disqualified based on an objection by Ethan Wolfson. Not only is it pretty funny that the two longtime enemies are running on the same ticket, but that the two veteran politicians couldn’t even follow through and get petitions in the proper way – it’s not rocket science, but there are certain rules that must be followed. I’m told the petitions were disqualified because the two candidates witnessed their own signatures.
-In ED 7, Catherine Conroy and Linda Meissner were disqualified on behalf of an objection by Robert Martiniano. Conroy is a Rensselaer County Committee vice chairman.
On behalf of the Wade camp
-In ED 1, Alfred Cussick and Tiffany Klimek were disqualified based on an objection by Suzanne Scales.
-In ED 2, Tina Turner and Diane Turner were disqualified by an objection by Timothy McDonough.
-In ED 4, Tanya Grant and Michael Grant were disqualified by objection by John Manupella.
-In ED 7, Robert Martiniano and Michael Rinaldi were disqualified by an objection by Catherine Conroy.
-In ED 10, Alexander Briggs and Tristen Wood were disqualified by an objection by Charlena Keels.
-In ED 12, William Campana and Chris Jackson were disqualified by an objection by Michael Barrett
-ED 15 Ronald Tinkler and Noel Hale were disqualified by an objection by Timothy Steele
Individual objections varied, but were largely either the signee previously signing another petition and general incorrect information such as witnesses living outside the county or other municipalities but put Rensselaer County or Troy as their address.