Both Nobles, Eckert, Koop, Will, Mills, Dawson, Schwartz Berky winners in Dem primary

Jim and Steve Noble celebrate their primary win. (Photo: Phyllis McCabe)

Jim and Steve Noble celebrate their primary win. (Photo: Phyllis McCabe)

Written with Hugh Reynolds

If you were to keep a tally of all the people Mayor Shayne Gallo has clashed with over the more than three and a half years of his administration — one-time allies unceremoniously booted from their jobs, nonprofits’ directors shoved out of relationships with City Hall, elected officials accused of everything from incompetence to nepotism to outright unethical behavior — they could fill a room.

On Thursday night, moments after the polls for the city’s furiously contended Democratic primary had closed, they did. And they were very, very happy.


Gallo, to put it plainly, crashed and burned and took with him virtually everyone who had hitched their political aspirations to his agenda. By 10 p.m., mayoral challenger Steve Noble was taking a victory lap at Keegan Ales where a crowd heavy on young, hip “New Kingston” types hoisted Mason jars of beer as roots-rockers The Gold Hope Duo played a chorus of “Great Minds Drink Alike.” Gallo had not called Noble to concede. But Jen Fuentes, a onetime Gallo ally who was Noble’s chief strategist, was watching the numbers come in and the outcome was clear: The 33-year-old city Parks & Recreation employee had ousted the boss from the Democratic line. Unofficial election-night numbers showed Noble up 880 votes to Gallo’s 668.

The rout carried over into other races, where Gallo partisans by and large fell to Noble backers running under the “One Kingston” banner. Noble’s uncle, longtime Alderman-at-Large James Noble, withstood a primary challenge from Jeanette Provenzano, a longtime county lawmaker who stepped down from the legislature to be Gallo’s running mate for the city’s number-two elected office. According to unofficial results, Jim Noble beat Provenzano 829-685.

In the city’s wards, three Gallo partisans lost to “One Kingston” candidates. In Ward 1, where there is no Republican running in the general election, Lynn Eckert handily beat Gallo-backed Laurie Morris 107-45, according to unofficial results. Eckert will replace Council Majority Leader Matt Dunn, who did not seek another term. In Ward 2, Douglas Koop ousted incumbent and Gallo ally Brian Seche 144-49, according to unofficial results. With no Republican in the race, Kopp is assured a seat on the council come January. In Ward 3, a rematch between incumbent and Gallo antagonist Brad Will and Andrew Champ-Doran ended with a 139-86 victory for Will. Gallo allies prevailed in just two wards where there were primary challenges. Maryann Mills will retain her Ward 7 seat after beating former alderman Bill Reynolds 105-51, according to unofficial results. Reynolds had suspended his campaign shortly after receiving the nomination. In Ward 4, incumbent Nina Dawson beat out “One Kingston” candidate Daniel Kanter 86-29. In the county legislature District 7 race, One Kingston candidate Jennifer Schwartz Berky prevailed over city Purchasing Agent Brian Woltman 312-156, according to unofficial results.

James Noble reflected on the magnitude of the victory addressing the crowd at Keegan’s. After introducing himself as “Uncle Jimmy” in an apparent mocking reference to Gallo’s allegations of nepotism, Noble read out the names of the victorious “One Kingston.”

“Not only do we have the mayor’s office and alderman-at-large, we will have control of the council,” said Noble. “Thank God and I see great things in our future.”

Steve Noble was more circumspect, saying that his main job was to keep the campaign rolling as they move towards November’s general election, where he will face Republican challenger Ron Polacco. Noble said he planned to focus on broadening his outreach beyond Democratic Party faithful to Republicans and independent voters.

“I put a lot on the line for this,” said Steve Noble. “But I knew that if I could run a grass-roots campaign and bring a positive message to people who want to do new creative things in Kingston, I would be their guy.”

Gallo vows disciplinary charges

Andy Zweben and Shayne Gallo at Gallo's campaign HQ. (Photo: Hugh Reynolds)

Andy Zweben and Shayne Gallo at Gallo’s campaign HQ. (Photo: Hugh Reynolds)

At Gallo headquarters at an insurance office Uptown, the mood was somber, and seemingly bitter.

“Just can’t beat a campaign of hate and negativism. It was very nasty,” said Gallo. “I’m proud of our campaign. We kept our head above water. We didn’t lower ourselves.”

Gallo, calling Noble “a pretentious elitist,” said, “People were duped by a small group of elitist cronies.”

Gallo said that 300 absentee ballots had been requested from the Board of Elections for the primary; they’re to be counted next week. But with a 212-vote lead, more than two-thirds of them would have to go against Noble for Gallo to scratch out a win.

Gallo said he would immediately move to bring Steve Noble up on “a few dozen” charges of incompetence and misconduct stemming from accusations that Noble mishandled several city grants. Gallo said civil service law allows him to suspend Noble for up to 30 days without pay. “Remember how he requested I bring charges. I couldn’t do it during a mayoral campaign. Now, we’ll grant his request,” said Gallo.

Gallo also said Polacco could well be the next mayor, “what with Noble’s lack of a record and the kind of nasty campaign he ran in the primary” and the disciplinary charges Gallo promised Noble will be facing. He stopped short of saying he would support Polacco, however.

As far as his own political future is concerned, Gallo said he’s done and added that he’d spend the next few months looking for a job “that fits my talents and proven record.”

There are 14 comments

  1. David Donaldson

    Gallo’s response shows why he lost so badly. Claiming a nasty campaign which was actual all on his part and then proclaiming he will punish the winner using his position as mayor is nothing short of disgusting. I wanted Shane to succeed in his governance but he decided on vindictive politics rather than the people of the City and I worry what he will do until he leaves office.

  2. George G.

    Gallo’s comments are truly shocking. If he does what he says he’s going to do he’s abusing his power and very possibly will be breaking the law. Since he’s alerted everyone to his, possible, conduct, he should be watched very closely. He’s a bully and a disgrace to Kingston! Have some class and go quietly.

  3. Keith White

    He should be removed from office now. Don’t wait until Jan 1. He is a troubled person with too much authority. I will pray for him. I wish him no harm only peace.

  4. Walter White

    Gallo wants to move on to something “that fits my talents and proven record.”. Bully, hothead, buck passer, antagonist, divider, retaliator, and now you can add to that sore loser. Not sure there is much of a market for his skill set.

  5. Judy Ivankovic

    Gallo has always been a bully and I’m glad he lost—he brought this on himself. His unprofessional comments about bringing Noble up on charges in his remaining months is what Gallo has always been about–not working toward the good of the city and its citizens but creating chaos within his own ranks and wasting taxpayer money on his personal agendas.

  6. Aphrodite

    Congratulations to all the winners. It will certainly end in tears for the Mayor and his conspirators if they spend the final months continuing this farcical witch hunt against Noble. All the lies and shabby tactics will certainly be laid bare.

    Why not instead focus on a civil and conciliatory transition that is in the best interest of ALL Kingston residents – not some kind of scorched earth revenge game?

  7. Rachel Sun

    “Just can’t beat a campaign of hate and negativism. It was very nasty,”
    Exactly, didn’t get you anywhere did it Mr. Gallo? Funny how that works isn’t it?

    And now he plans to punish his opponent because hateful, negative energy didnt work.

    Way to go out with a disgusting bang!

  8. Amy D

    Gallo’s entire mayoralty can be summed up in his actions in the last 24-hours. Dishonest, vindictive and totally lacking in personal accountability.

  9. Rand Rosenbaum

    It’s time to make this viral in order expose how the King wears no clothes…and needs serious medical attention…SHAME ON SHAYNE…his actions are a legacy that defile anything good his beloved brother and father ever did for the City of Kingston!

    1. nopolitics

      THAT is a truly “grandiose” comment. On what BASIS do you suggest such a thing with regard to his father and his brother? And your “serious medical attention” comment really, as you know, points you out as containing “sufficient Mishegaas yourself.” Shame on YOU!!

      “Let the commenter heal himself.”

  10. Carl F.

    If anyone ever had any doubts as to why Shayne inspired such fervent (albeit courteous) opposition, his post-primary comments should put an end to that. Let’s see: We have projection (saying others were doing what he was doing). We have mean-spiritedness (threatening to bring Steve up on charges). We have disrespect and discourtesy. (Not congratulating the winner? That’s a first for me in over four decades of watching politics!) We have an utter inability to process feedback (voters were duped!). We have grandiosity. (If God ‘turned his back on Kingston,’does that make Shayne God’s appointed savior?) Last but not least, we have bitterness, rage etc., an entire soup-pot of negative emotions, getting in the way of Shayne’s putting Kingston first.

    Shayne has accomplished a lot of good things. The people have spoken, though. They’ve voted him out, with good reason. The right thing for him to do now is accept our thanks for the good work he’s done, and go away gracefully and quietly.

    1. Keith White

      And return an innocent man back to work. Pay him his due as the courts have ordered. The biggest travesty of Gallo’s rage was the vendetta driven tantrum against Chris Rea. The Old Kingston Post Office is to Historic Preservation as Chris Rea is to justice. We can’t rebuild the Old Kingston Post Office but we can correct an injustice to a fellow citizen. Is Kingston righteous enough to do that? There is nothing more important to Kingston ‘ s future than standing up for what is right. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. What is Kingston really made of? The primary results showed us a glimpse of goodness. Will Kingston follow through and correct the sad injustice to Chris Rea? The time is now. The sooner the better. It will help the entire community heal from the Gallo debacle.

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