Shandaken squeaker: DiSclafani and Steen leading for town board, Stanley ahead for supervisor, but absentee ballots await

Rob Stanley

Candidates for office in Shandaken and their supporters were left in suspense on Election Night, when the Ulster County Board of Elections closed due to a medical emergency for one of their staff members, leaving the results on the board’s website only 90 percent tallied. In Shandaken, where the town council and supervisor races were both close, only three of the four districts had been posted.

By noon Wednesday, when the results were finally posted, town supervisor Rob Stanley was ahead by 35 votes, 543 to 508, with Stanley receiving 52% percent of the vote and Democratic challenger Brian Powers at 48%, with one write-in. Yet to be counted are, as of the day after election, are 55 write-in votes, of which Powers would need to tally 46 to take the lead, a high bar, indeed. Of the absentee ballots received, 31 were from Democrats, 18 from Republicans, two from voters not enrolled in any party, plus a smattering from other parties. There are still 33 outstanding ballots that can be received. 

Democratic town board member Peter DiSclafani had edged ahead with 526 votes, or 26% of the vote for the two open council positions. Republican Kyle Steen was second, with 516, or 25%, while Vivian Welton, a Democrat, tallied 492, or 24% percent, and Republican Ken Booth with 480, or just short of 24 percent. With only 10 to 24 votes separating each of the candidates, absentee ballot counts could play a role. Absentee ballots will be counted beginning on November 18.


The Phoenicia Library referendum, on whether to increase the library’s budget by $10,000, passed, 635 to 401, with 61.23 percent approval.

Shandaken incumbents kept their positions in four uncontested races, including town clerk Joyce Grant, highway superintendent Eric Hofmeister, and town assessors Janet Klugiewicz and Dave Channon.

There is one comment

  1. Dave Channon

    Too many American election wins are razor thin these days. This means the “winners” don’t have a mandate. In Shandaken, half the homeowners are weekenders who pay taxes to support the town, but can’t vote locally. A 50-50 win means less than 1/4 of Shandaken voted for the “winner”. Whoever wins the race must represent the whole community, not just the 1/4 who voted for him. I also strongly believe it is a mathematical impossibility for chaotic systems like elections to behave like a 50-50 coin toss. A 3 vote margin on 50,000 votes cast? The only logical explanation is the count is manipulated. Whoever is behind “finds” just enough “votes’ to “win”, but not so many that it becomes obvious the results are fake. Our voting system is broken. Even a 3 million vote majority can’t decide the Presidency! We must end gerrymandering, the electoral college, super delegates, unequal distribution of polling places, hackable voting machines and all the many “Jim Crow” ways our system prevents majority rule. Billionaires would finally have to give up some of their staggering wealth. With one person one vote, we would quickly see a living wage, a good health care system, affordable housing and education. We could stop having wars and start fixing the environment!

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