John Perry, his town’s former assessor and a longtime fixture for his coaching of local kids’ sports teams, will be the new town supervisor in Hurley after the counting of absentee ballots on Monday, November 20 gave him 13 more votes than former Woodstock supervisor and now West Hurley resident Tracy Kellogg, who was making her third run for the position on Democratic, Green and Working Family party lines.
Perry, who ran on the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines, ended up with only two votes more than Kellogg on Election Day, November 7. After all absentee ballots were counted his lead ballooned to 13. Final totals show Perry with 1169 votes to Kellogg’s 1156. He will succeed Republican Gary Bellows, who served 12 nonconsecutive terms.
Absentee ballots did not change any of the town’s other races. In the final count for what had been a close battle for town council seats, incumbent R/C/I candidate Barbara Zell retained her seat with a final count of 1181, and former Onteora teacher Michael Boms, now at SUNY New Paltz, won a seat with 1118 votes. Out of the running, in the final rounds, were incumbent Janet Briggs, on the ballot as a Republican and Conservative, 17 votes behind at 1101 votes, and local realtor/attorney Jasmine Jordaan with 1,086 votes.
Michael Shultis, a former town supervisor running on Democratic and Independence lines, will be the town’s new highway superintendent and Democrat Judy Mahon will serve another term as town clerk after running unopposed.
‘In good hands…’
“It was a long road to get elected,” said Perry from his Uptown Kingston business, Signature Fitness, where he starts work each day at 4:30 a.m. as a personal trainer. “Tracy was great. We went into this knowing that whoever won, the town would be in good hands. It was all very cool and new to me.”
Kellogg, who also made two attempts at getting elected as a town justice, noted that, “He did it. It’s OK. He’s a nice guy.” She added that she was interested to see how much time he’ll be able to devote to the town job, as well as how he enjoys administrative work.
“It could have gone very easily in either direction,” Kellogg said, noting how the race may have been decided in the September Independence Party primary that Perry won by a handful of votes, as well as what got spent during the election on robo-calls, signs and other political tools. “This was an ‘every vote counts’ election and it really shows the importance of the Independence, Green and Working Family votes in a town like ours.”
Perry said that he’s been used to getting his work done very early for years, and expects to get into town offices by noon every day.
“I’m sure I’ll be putting in more hours at the beginning,” he said, while adding that he’ll be retaining Bellows’ secretary to keep the transition smooth.
“I went to the town’s meeting last night in preparation for January,” he added Tuesday morning, November 21. “ I want to start right out by stepping things up and hiring a grants writer who can help us give the Old Hurley Main Street a face lift.”
Perry added that he was also looking to host a couple of town hall meetings in West Hurley this winter. He noted how he’s heard from many people around town that they “want to keep everything the same,” but worries about geographic and political divides between the two halves of Hurley.