Absentee ballots confirm Maher’s primary victory

By Laura Fitzgerald
Posted 7/3/19

Former Walden Mayor Brian Maher confirmed his narrow victory over incumbent Rodney Winchell in the Town of Montgomery Republican primary for supervisor after absentee and affidavit ballots were …

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Absentee ballots confirm Maher’s primary victory

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Former Walden Mayor Brian Maher confirmed his narrow victory over incumbent Rodney Winchell in the Town of Montgomery Republican primary for supervisor after absentee and affidavit ballots were counted.

The Orange County Board of Elections counted absentee and affidavit ballots on Tuesday morning. With those votes counted, Maher secured the Republican nomination by 20 votes. There were 1,320 votes total.

“Today’s final election results prove that every single vote matters,” Maher said. “I plan to work twice as hard leading up to November’s General Election, reaching out to voters of all parties to discuss the important issues facing our town and a vision for the future.”

The most important issues to Maher’s campaign are updates to the town comprehensive plan, town infrastructure improvements and the implementation of a town-wide youth employment program.

Since Winchell won the Conservative line he will still run in the November elections. Maher won the Independence line.

“I’ll hold the Conservative line,” Winchell said. “Changes to the Republican committee seats look great! I love Montgomery and America!”

Maybrook Mayor Dennis Leahy (D) will also run for supervisor in November. He said he will run on the merits of his experience and record in the village.

Leahy has served as Maybrook’s mayor for the past 11 years, where he has spearheaded village infrastructure, obtained a new senior center, government center, sewer treatment plant and sidewalks. About 90 percent of the village sewer lines have been relined.

Leahy said he will focus on the issues of infrastructure and economic development.

“I feel like I’m going into the town like I went into the village, there was neglected infrastructure and you have to start at ground zero and build it up again,” Leahy said.

As for the town board, Ron Feller and incumbent Mark Hoyt won the Republican primary for town council, pushing Republican Dwight Warrington out of the race. Feller and Hoyt will face off against Conservative Joe Keenan and Democrats Susan Cockburn and Kristen Brown for the two seats on town board.

Hoyt said his strategy going forward is to continue to do his job as town board member to the best of his ability.

“I’m very pleased with the results of the election and I’m looking forward to having an opportunity to serve the residents of the town of Montgomery along with the Republican party,” Hoyt said.

Feller will focus on the creation of a youth programs, a Parks and Recreation Department for the maintenance of town parks and trails for his campaign and the establishment of budgetary procedures such as monthly budget reviews with department heads and variation reports. Feller was the former Parks and Recreation Director from 2015 to 2017. He also served on the town board from 2008 to 2011 and served as deputy supervisor from 2011 to 2012.

Keenan said going forward he will continue to listen to constituents and promote himself as an independent candidate free from party loyalty. The most important issues to him are smart development, open and honest government, fiscal responsibility, and updates to the master plan. He served as chairman of the original Town of Montgomery Board of Ethics and currently serves on the resurrected ethics board.

For her campaign, Brown will focus on smart growth, updates in the zoning code, town infrastructure, parks and recreation and volunteer organization participation. She operates the fifth-generation Historic Brown Family Farm on Browns Road with her husband and two children.

Cockburn will focus on acquiring grants and funding to preserve town parks and cultural aspect, updates to the comprehensive plan, and smart economic development. She also called for debates between supervisor and board candidates. She served as the town supervisor from 2004 to 2008 and is currently on the Town of Montgomery Historic Preservation Commission. 

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