Miller storms back to win on absentee ballots


By Joe Moskowitz
In a race so close that it took an extra week to determine the winner, incumbent Marjorie Miller has been re-elected to serve a second two-year term as Supervisor of the Town of Middletown.
Miller, a Democrat, trailed Republican challenge Nelson Delameter by 22 votes after last Tuesday’s election, but when 82 absentee ballots were tallied at the Board of Elections in Delhi yesterday, Miller had made up the deficit and more, winning by an unofficial count of 523-513.
Miller was not at the Board of Elections on Tuesday, but Delaware County Democratic Committee Chairman Tom Schimmerling said that statistically, under normal circumstances, “It would be virtually impossible for her to have won.” But he said he knew that she worked hard during the campaign on absentee voters and that work paid off. Miller claimed 56 absentee votes out of the 82 cast with 23 absentee votes going to Delameter, who also won one affidavit vote. One ballot was invalidated, and two voters chose not to vote on the supervisor’s line.
When the polls closed last Tuesday, 441 people had voted for Miller as a Democrat and 441 voted for Delameter as a Republican. Delameter also ran on the Independent “Honesty” party line. Miller ran on the Independent “Liberty Belle” party line. Candidates often add the extra lines to get people who might not vote for them if they had to be identified with either of the two mainstream parties. That’s where Delameter built up his election-day lead.

A waiting game
With the vote close, it became  matter of waiting until the next Tuesday, but the campaigns did more than wait. The absentee process takes away a great deal of the privacy that other voters enjoy. The names of people and party affiliation of the voters are public knowledge, and in a small town, it is easy to speculate how people might have voted because of family or other ties. Based on those assumptions, the Delameter campaign had expressed optimism.  But then as the ballot results were read, and so many absentee voters who favored other Republicans made one exception and voted for the Democrat Miller, it became apparent that she had won.
Delameter was philosophical and said he thought he had run a good race.
The results are not official, and even though the race was very close, there won’t be a recount because with the new electronic voting machines, the chances of an error are virtually non-existent.  
In the race for a pair of seats on the Middletown Town Board, Republican incumbent Jake Rosa and longtime Democratic board member Michael Finberg were re-elected with 574 and 530 vores, respectively. Political newcomer Dean Hunter, running as an Independent finished with 438 votes and GOP hopeful George Brown had 190 votes.
Margaretville attorney John Fairbairn 3rd, a Democrat, was an easy winner in the race to fill an open justice position. He earned 755 votes to 100 for Fleischmanns resident Warren Slavin. Mr. Fairbairn fills the position vacated by Glen George, who did not seek another term.
Democrat David Goodchild Jr. won a term as tax assessor with 744 votes. He was appointed last year to fill an unexpired term created by the resignation of Gary Marks.
Melinda Cammer received 23 write-in ballots to fill a second vacant assessor’s position.

The following results do not include absentee ballot figures:

Veteran Republican Supervisor won re-election on Tuesday with 315 votes, running unopposed.Voting for a pair of town board position saw a changing of the guard as Democratic challengers Thomas Joyce, who received 281votes, and R. Dale Cole, with 268 votes, won seats by knocking off Republican incumbents Martin Liddle and Daniel Grommeck who received 188 and 162 votes, respectively.
Republican assessor Tina Moshier withstood a challenge from Democrat Joseph Steketee Sr., winning re-election by a 292-168 margin.
Michael McAdams, a Republican, was running without opposition for superintendent of highways and earned 388 votes.
Incumbent GOP justices Joseph Grieco (370 votes) and Nicholas Burton (343 votes) were each running without opposition.

Republican Supervisor Tina Mole easily withstood a challenge from Independent candidate Beatriz Sohni by a 213-79 margin to win another term.
The race for superintendent of highways saw Democratic incumbent Ed Weber defeat Republican challenger Brian McIntosh, 197-98.
Democrat Evelyn Stewart was re-elected to a town board position with 214 votes and Republican Kenneth Brown won the other open board seat with 149 votes. He fills a position vacated by longtime board member Chuck McIntosh, who chose not to run again. There were also 104 write-in votes cast for the town board.
Republican tax collector/clerk Catherine Hewitt received 231 votes to win re-election without opposition.

Supervisor Paul Ohsberg leads the voting in a challenge from his predecessor, Jerry Fairbairn, as he attempts to win re-election in the Town of Hardenburgh.
Mr. Ohsberg, a Republican, received 49 votes on Election Day to 31 for Mr. Fairbairn. The challenger, who served as supervisor for 14 years before stepping down, earned 31 votes running on the Taxpayers’ Party line.
A large number of absentee ballots may shift the election outcome of the supervisor’s and town board races. Ulster County Board of Elections officials will tally 51 absentee ballots on November 19.
In the race for a pair of seats on the town board, Republican incumbents Sherry Bellows with 48 votes and Douglas O’Dell received with 43 votes, lead the town board voting.
William Schluter and John Sackel, who were running on the Democratic and Taxpayer party lines finished with 39 and 33 votes, respectively, on Election Day.
Incumbent Superintendent of Highways Charles Storms won re-election running a member of the Democratic and Taxpayer parties. He totaled 43 votes to 38 ballots cast for Republican challenger Carliton Finch.
Democratic Town Clerk/Tax Collector Thomas Delehanty was running unopposed and received 61 votes.

Longtime Democratic Supervisor Thomas Hynes earned another two-year term with an easy 541-169 victory over Independent challenger Bill Walcutt.
Two town board positions were decided on Tuesday with incumbents Allen Hinkley and Gene Cronk winning re-election with 475 and 410 votes, respectively. Democratic challenger Melony Lee received 399 votes.
Incumbent Democrats Wayne Pebler and Joan Moore were running unopposed for justice and tax collector, respectively. He received 560 votes and she finished with 604 votes.