Olive elected its first woman supervisor…and first new figure in the town’s top spot for decades Tuesday night, as 31-year town clerk Sylvia Rozzelle, running on the Democratic and Conservative lines, handily defeated Republican town board member Peter Friedel at the polls 1,023 votes to 605, with retiring councilman and deputy supervisor Bruce LaMonda pulling in 89 votes on the Working Party and Independence Party lines, according to unofficial results from the Ulster County Board of Elections.
Coincidentally, Olive also voted in its first Republican majority in 30-some years this week, with GOP newcomer Scott Kelder splitting the town council seat vote with fellow winner Jim Sofranko, a Democrat, placing him alongside fellow Republicans Friedel and Donnie Van Buren over the coming two years. Votes came in for town council at unofficial totals of 846 for Sofranko, 816 for Kelder, 759 for Republican-Conservative candidate Craig Grazier, 696 for Democrat Drew Boggess, and 230 for Linda Burkhardt, an incumbent running this time on only the Working Families line.
“I’m excited about this; why wouldn’t I be? It’s a nice change after 31 years…town supervisor is a pretty good job,” said Rozzelle Wednesday afternoon after several hours retrieving all her campaign signs from around town. “And you know what? I think the Democrats could have had a clean sweep this year if it weren’t for the Working Family Party…”
Rozzelle said she didn’t foresee any problems working with a GOP-dominated board.
“I can’t see any big differences as long as everyone has the benefit of the town at heart instead of their political party,” she said. “But we’ll just have to see.”
Dems win clerk, highway boss, justice
In other races, Democrat Dawn Giuditta defeated Republican Sharon Wood for the town clerk position opened up by Rozzelle’s victory, with a 975-649 tally (65 for Working Family Party candidate Susan Horner), while incumbent highway superintendent Jimmy Fugel defeated Republican Herb Dixon 1,130 to 542 to hold on to his position.
Town justice Timothy Cox ran, and won, unopposed.