Perry tops Kellogg In Hurley rematch

John Perry

Hurley supervisor John Perry, a Republican, topped Democrat and former Woodstock town supervisor Tracy Kellogg in a rematch of their race two years ago, though control of the town board slipped away from the GOP with the elections of political newcomers Melinda McKnight and Peter Humphries on November 5.

Still, Perry was upbeat. “Mostly I want to thank the residents of Hurley for their continued support. It shows the hard work I put in doesn’t go unnoticed,” said Perry in a statement on November 6. “I will continue my hard work and dedication to bringing the Town as a whole together while preparing it financially for today and tomorrow.

Two years ago Perry won by just a handful of votes. This year the final, unofficial tally (absentees will be counted beginning November 18) was 1,329 to 1,253.

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Still Kellogg, noted a silver lining in a post-election email: all of her Democratic running mates won races this year, noting that the shift she’s long predicted for her hometown has finally come.

“This is actually worse for him,” Kellogg said of Perry now having to work with a town board that will be made up of three Democrats and one Republican, come reorganization in January.

McKnight and Humphries, both Democrats, won seats with unofficial counts of 1,409 and 1,301 votes, respectively, defeating Republican Matthew P. May of West Hurley, with 1,086 votes, and incumbent Republican councilman Matthew LaClair, appointed in January, with 1,048 votes. 

They’ll join Democrat Mike Boms and Republican Barbara Zell on the council. 

Democratic incumbents were also swept into office. Highway superintendent Mike Shultis defeated challenger Gavin Bellows (whose father Gary Bellows was a long time town supervisor, who had once lost to Shultis, and had also defeated him for the supervisor’s job) by a count of 1,393 votes to 1,197.

Democratic town clerk, Judy Mayhon, who ran unopposed, retained her job.

Also winning one of the town’s two justice positions, which Kellogg had run for in the past, was former county legislator Roy Hochberg. In a three-way race for two justice positions, the final count was incumbent Republican John E. Parker with 1,655 votes, Hochberg with 1,408 and Republican/Conservative candidate Michael DiBattista with 1,106 votes.

Both Parker and Hochberg received Green Party backing, which equaled or bettered Conservative Party votes in all town races this year.

Kellogg, who spoke about election night in terms of great swings in the tally as the town’s disparate districts reported in, noted that approximately 120 absentee ballots were still to be counted, although she also added that the final vote count would likely be similar to two years ago, with Perry still winning.

“My biggest concern is that things won’t be handled in a way that keeps the town out of liability,” she added. “Having a Democratic majority board, however, will change the town’s governing dynamics enough to stop secret meetings and bring all decisions into public view.”

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