With 99 absentee ballots sitting in the hopper on the day after the 2017 election, and more potentially to come in before they get opened beginning Wednesday, November 15, only two votes separated Hurley town supervisor candidates Republican/Conservative/ Independence party choice John Perry (1104) and Democrat/Green/ Working Families hopeful Tracy Kellogg (1102).
Not quite as close, but still within reach of absentee ballots is the second seat for town board. Front running incumbent Republican Barbara Zell appears secure with 1119 votes, but second finisher, Democrat Michael Boms (1060) holds only a 13 vote lead over incumbent Republican Janet Briggs (1047). Democrat Jasmine Jordaan finished fourth with 1028 votes.
“This is the exact example I give to people about how every vote counts,” Kellogg said on November 8, noting how she knew of at least three absentee votes — her husband and two daughters — who were likely to end up in her tally, as well as how absentees tend to break for Democrats in Hurley and other rural towns in Ulster County. “I think both John and I deserve complements for having run so closely. It seems that the final results may have come down to how the Independence Primary was settled in September.”
Perry also spoke about how the closeness of the Hurley vote mirrored a close partisanship on the national and state fronts, as well as a tight Independence Party primary that he won against Kellogg with a 15-9 vote on September 15.
“It’s part of the process and quite educational,” he said from his work as a personal trainer on Wednesday. “I’m hearing there were 143 absentee ballots issued, of which 99 have been returned. All have to be in by the 14th, next Tuesday. I always said it would be 50/50 whether I win or not, I just didn’t know it would end up being literally 50/50.”
For highway superintendent, former town supervisor Mike Shultis, running on the Democratic, Green, Working Family and Independent party lines, won his seat over Lee Winne, R/C, 1,199 to 991.
The only uncontested race on the ballot had incumbent clerk Judy Mayhon, a Democrat, winning her sixth two-year term with 1,807 votes.