The outcome of a very close election for Gardiner town supervisor was confirmed last Friday, when the Ulster County Board of Elections tallied absentee ballots. As of Election Day, first-term incumbent Republican supervisor Marybeth Majestic had been ahead of Democratic challenger Lisa Lindsley by a slim margin of 22 votes, with more than 100 absentee ballots still outstanding. By the time all the ballots had been opened on November 17, it became clear that Majestic had indeed retained her seat.
Official vote totals were not available from the Board of Elections as of Monday, but Majestic reported her final winning edge as having been 20 votes overall. “I am thankful to have won this election,” stated Majestic. “I look forward to continuing to serve all of Gardiner’s residents. There is so much more to accomplish. I am grateful for the confidence the Gardiner voters showed in me by coming out to vote in record-breaking numbers.”
The Gardiner Democrats reported the same 20-vote margin in the incumbent’s favor on their website and Facebook page. “The close results were an important message from advocates of open, progressive local government,” said Lindsley after her concession to Majestic. “Voters are watching closely and are no longer going to let the old boy network run Gardiner unimpeded.”
Noting that Democratic Party nominees had swept the town board elections, Democratic Committee vice-chair Barbara Sides, who had witnessed the ballot count on Friday, added, “The fact that the supervisor race came down to 20 votes is indicative of the opposition to the incumbent’s attitude that all land development is good for Gardiner and that the same entrenched interests should be appointed and reappointed to our boards and commissions.” But whether the winds of change are blowing in the town, or residents are more comfortable with a mixed bag of municipal leadership, is a question that remains to play out in future electoral contests.