Sofranko, Dems win in Olive

Jim Sofranko

“Thirty six years is long enough,” said Sylvia Rozzelle, Town of Olive’s current supervisor and former town clerk on the morning of November 6, when asked her opinion of the previous evening’s vote tallies, which saw a sweep by her party, the Democrats, in all municipal races. “It’s time for new people, for new energy in Olive.”

Democratic councilperson Jim Sofranko won the town supervisor position being vacated by Rozzelle by defeating Conservative Steven E. Blakely, who also ran on the GOP line, by an unofficial tally of 1119 to 706. Winning town council seats out of a field of four were incumbent Democrat Drew Boggess, with 1050 votes, and David Edinger, with 1015 votes. Republican candidates Peter Friedel, a long-time incumbent and former supervisor candidate, and planning board chairman David Sorbellini finished out of the running with unofficial counts of 823 and 649 votes, respectively.

In a race to fill the town justice seat of Tanya Davis, Democrat Peggy Haug defeated Republican/Conservative candidate Earla VanKleeck 1086 to 673. There were 48 write in votes. Davis was a Democrat, like the woman replacing her.


“I’d like to thank my wife, my family, the Olive Democratic Committee and all the people who supported us in this election. I am thankful and deeply grateful for winning the confidence of the people of Olive,” noted Sofranko in a statement after the vote counts were released the evening of November 5. “We live in a great town and I look forward to continuing my civic service in my new role as Supervisor. Thank you, Olive!”

The two term councilman added, when asked, that he hadn’t yet thought about naming a replacement for his seat at the new year’s reorganization meeting in January.

“I greatly appreciate the support and confidence in me that the citizens of Olive showed in Tuesday’s election. I will do my absolute best in serving on the Town Board and I am proud to be so honored by the people of Olive,” noted Boggess in a similar e-mail statement Wednesday morning. “Serving on the Town Board is a huge responsibility and I will represent Olive with honesty, integrity, and transparency.  Looking forward to the next four years.”

Edinger joined in. “I am humbled and proud to have the support of my community in this election. As a first time candidate, one is never sure how the process will unfold. The incredible support of family, friends and the Olive Democratic Committee made experience a pleasure.”

Requests for comment to GOP and Conservative Party candidates, including longstanding councilman Friedel, were not answered as of press time, although Blakely and Sorbellini had both spoken favorably of Sofranko in recent interviews.

High numbers

Voting numbers, in the 1,825 range altogether, were up from the 1,740 range in 2017 and a low of 1,369 in 2015, but below those of 1,863 in 2013 when Rozzelle was first voted in as supervisor to replace the town’s longstanding Democratic supervisor of three decades, Berndt Leifeld.

“I was asleep by 8 last night. 56 days and I get my life back,” said Rozzelle of Tuesday’s election night, which she preceded by sending out a post card to town residents on behalf of the town’s Democratic candidates for office. “I’m planning a cross-country trip to start in January. I’m getting a new vehicle for the trip and planning to hit as many National Parks as I can. I’m ready for a change.”