Can a candidate who lost both Democratic and Republican primaries win the general election against the two opponents who defeated him?
That possibility remains for former county Democratic Party chair and incumbent county legislator John Parete of Boiceville, who holds a slim 20 vote lead over Democratic challenger Kathy Nolan in the 22nd district, which includes Shandaken, Olive, Denning and Hardenburgh, with 217 absentee ballots on hand at the county board of elections and a possibility of more arriving before they can be opened beginning Wednesday, November 15. That’s when candidates and party lawyers will gather at the board of elections for the painstaking process of fine-tooth examinations of every absentee ballot.
Republican Cliff Faintych, winner of the GOP primary in September, finished with 748 votes.
“It’s rather close here. We’ll see where the chips fall,” Parete said from his Boiceville Inn bar and grill the morning after. A former Board of Elections’ Democratic Commissioner, Parete said he was expecting the absentee vote count to be close.
Nolan knows she still has a chance.
“It was certainly a very close race, and with over 200 absentee ballots and more coming in the outcome is not yet determined,” she said on the following afternoon. “There was a very strong turnout, which is great. A lot of people voted for the things they care about and I am proud to have stayed consistent with my positions; I believe the voters were able to discern my message. I found out that we are a community poised for change, with many welcoming that but some not yet ready for it. In the end, the vote shows that my primary win was not an outlier.”
Faintych was graceful in defeat. “I am grateful for the encouragement and support during my campaign put forward by all my friends and neighbors. Now let’s all work together for a brighter future here in our mountain towns.”
Parete, who also served as Democratic Chairman of the Legislature when Republicans helped him achieve the votes to gain that position several years ago, was asked who he would caucus with should he prevail. “That’s the last thing I’m concerned with right now; we’re a distance from that decision.” But then he added that “it will probably depend on who they pick as a chairman.”