Guess I better get caught up on what is turning out to be a wild year in the City of Troy.
-As expected, Councilman Jim Gordon, R-District 1, got the GOP Selection Committee’s nod. That recommendation now goes to the full committee, which is also expected to approve his nomination. If recent history is any indication, he will also have the Conservative and Independence Party lines.
-The Working Families Party is holding a press conference Monday (May 4) to announce at least a partial slate of candidates. As expected Council President Rodney Wiltshire, D-At Large, will head up the ticket. Other incumbents include, as expected, Democrats Anastasia Robertson in District 2 and Bob Doherty in District 4.
Also slated to speak at the press conference at the top of The Approach is Peggy Kownack, A Democrat running for an At Large seat. Anasha Cummings, who had one of the corniest press conferences in recent memory to announce his bid for an At Large seat, is not listed as a speaker but he was out of town and is expected to run with WFP support.
Others in this year’s lineup include District 1 candidate Jessica Ashley, who served on the Council in the early 2000s and who ran in 2013 on the Green Party line, and District 5 candidate David Bissember.
The WFP is going to be a major player. If the status quo holds true there will be a three-way primary for the all-powerful Democratic Party line with Patrick Madden getting the party proper support (that of Rensselaer County Chairman Tom Wade and company) and newcomer Ernest Everett also running.
That means even if Wiltshire loses the primary he will still be the WFP candidate on the general election ballot in November. If Wiltshire wins the primary, however, it could be the end of the Democratic Party hierarchy as we know it.
-The same could apply for the GOP with Carmella Mantello all but announcing her candidacy for mayor. She said she is starting her own line – Keep Term Limits in Place – so if she loses to Gordon in the primary she will be on the ballot. If she beats Gordon, he will still have the I and C lines and still be on the ballot.
-While it doesn’t seem likely any candidate would wage a serious run on the I or C minor party lines the WFP can and have rallied the troops and could use Wiltshire’s campaign to make their every increasing influence all the more significant.
-The Wade Democrats will likely not endorse Doherty in 4 or Robertson in 2 and it’s still unclear who they have to run for those seats.
-Incumbent At Large Councilwomen Lynn Kopka and Erin Sullivan-Teta – both Wade Dems – have not announced their intentions but it would be surprising if they don’t run again. Especially given this year’s wild dynamics and the fact they are loyal to a party that needs them.
-Former Councilman Mark McGrath announced he is running for his old seat in District 2 and the enrolled Conservative will get the Wilson Pakula from the GOP. It’s not clear if the Wade Dems will challenge Robertson or not.
-Gordon can’t run for his District seat and for mayor and the neither Wade Dems, the Wiltshire Dems nor the GOP have not announced a candidate in District 1.
-Republican Dean Bodnar is running for his fourth and final term and the Dems – both Wade and Wiltshire camps – haven’t said anything about any opposition at this point in time.
-The Wade Dems will likely find someone to run against Doherty in 4.
-The GOP will find someone to run in 5 and the Wade Dems might too.
-District 6 is wide open.
-One more thing … word is Madden might be getting cold feet and who can blame him. Politics has always been called a “blood sport” in Rensselaer County and this year the metaphor could cross the line into the literal. And, the surviving candidates will have to deal with a multi-million deficit, six unions without contracts, likely indictments from a grand jury and that’s including all the other stuff like a crumbling infrastructure, racial tension, crime, arsonists, an eclectic electorate with a host of different needs --- and as sure summer is here now winter will come back and some pipes will surely freeze.
The smartest guy of the whole lot is Mayor Lou Rosamilia who opted to not run again.