Election night turned out to be a happy occasion for Gardiner Democrats who gathered to watch the returns at the home of Town supervisor candidate Carl Zatz. The Dems swept every contested race in the town, prevailing over their Republican/Conservative/Independence Party opponents.
Former County legislator Tracey Bartels ousted incumbent District 16 legislator Jack Hayes by a vote of 934 to 734 among Gardiner voters and 1,035 to 905 overall. The District also includes parts of the Town of Shawangunk.
Former supervisor Zatz was himself returned to office with 976 votes to challenger Bill Barrett’s 687. The two open slots on the Town Board will be filled by incumbent Warren Wiegand, with 892 votes, and newcomer Mike Reynolds with 891.
Republican/Conservative/Independence candidates Mike Boylan and Ron Bonagura fell short with 772 and 758 votes respectively.
Zatz struck a conciliatory tone, giving his opponents credit for a battle well-fought as he celebrated his slate’s victory. “When elections are over, we realize that there is very little that distinguishes us when it comes to the best interests of the Town,” he said. “On both sides there was a fantastic get-out-the-vote effort. Everyone did the right thing…Both sides touched as many voters as possible. There was a lot of awareness of the election.” With the unofficial results in, he said, “I look forward to working together with everyone on the Town Board and the citizens of Gardiner to continue to make Gardiner a great place to live.”
Two races in the Town of Gardiner were uncontested. Superintendent of Highways Charlie Haynes was reelected with 1,486 votes, and Town justice Bruce Blatchly returned to office as well with 1,481.