Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Like Father Like Daughter; Choice & No Choice

In today's Register-Star, John Mason has the rundown of the candidates running for local office this year. A sweet coincidence, called an irony by Rick Scalera, is that his daughter Lauren, who is vying for a seat on the Common Council, is the same age he was when he made his first run for office back in 1973. He was 23 then; she is 23 now. Gossips found a picture of Rick Scalera in a Republican campaign insert (yes, he started his political career running as a Republican) that was distributed with the Register-Star a few days before the election in 1973. The picture of Lauren Scalera is from her Facebook page.

Lauren Scalera is further following her father's example by trying to get her name on every possible party line on the ballot. She's got the Conservative and Independence party lines sewn up, but she ran into some snags with the Democrats and the Republicans. The Democratic committee didn't endorse her, so she is having to challenge the two candidates they did endorse--Alexis Keith and Rich Volo--to get her name on the Democratic line. The Republican committee endorsed her, but committee chair George DeJesus neglected to file the Wilson Pakula forms required if a registered Democrat is to run as a Republican, so she, along with a few other non-Republicans wishing to run as Republicans (Bob Donahue, Priscilla Moore, and her dad), is going to have to get Republicans to write in her name in the primary in September if she is to get on the Republican line in November.

Elections are supposed to be about choice, but this year in Hudson the choices will be limited. For the citywide offices, Democrat Tiffany Martin Hamilton is challenging incumbent Republican William Hallenbeck for mayor. With Common Council president Don Moore deciding not to seek a fourth term in that position, there are three candidates looking to replace him: Democrat Victor Mendolia, who also has the Working Families line; Republican Claudia DeStefano, who also has the Conservative and Independence lines; and Tom DePietro, who will be running on his own party line. For city treasurer, incumbent Heather Campbell, an NOP endorsed by the Democrats, will be running unopposed.

The choices thin out when it comes to representatives to the Common Council and the Board of Supervisors. In the First Ward, the only race will happen in the September, when incumbent aldermen Rick Rector and Nick Haddad vie with Michael O'Hara for the two alderman spots on the Democratic ticket. Rector and O'Hara have the Democrats' endorsement; Haddad does not. But after the primary, there's no contest. The two candidates who win the primary in September will run unopposed in November, as will Democrat Sarah Sterling, who is running unopposed for reelection as First Ward supervisor.

In the Second Ward, there may as well be no election--at least not for ward representation. Abdus Miah, Tiffany Garriga, and Ed Cross--all incumbents and all Democrats--are running unopposed for the ward's alderman (Miah and Garriga) and supervisor (Cross) positions.

In the Third Ward, the situation is pretty much the same: there are no contests, either in the primary or the general election. But there was a bit of angst getting to this point. After not endorsing incumbent alderman Henry Haddad, the Democratic committee tried to find another candidate for alderman. Former Register-Star reporter Jamie Larson briefly stepped forward and got the committee's blessing, but he dropped out so soon afterward that no petition signatures were gathered for him. Haddad, however, without the committee's support, obtained the required signatures and filed his petitions, so he and the other incumbent, John Friedman, both Democrats, will be running unopposed in November. Longtime Third Ward representative Ellen Thurston, who has served three terms as alderman and two terms as supervisor, decided not to seek reelection, but there is no competition to fill her slot. Don Moore, who decided not to seek reelection as Council president, is running unopposed for Third Ward supervisor.

In the Fourth Ward, there will be a contest for the two alderman seats both in the primary and the general election. In the primary, Democrats must choose two candidates from three: Rich Volo, incumbent Alexis Keith, and Lauren Scalera; and Republicans must vote for Derrick Smart and/or write in the candidate(s) of their choice. The winners of the primary will face each other in the general election. For Fourth Ward supervisor, incumbent Bill Hughes, who has held the position since 2008, is running unopposed. 

In the Fifth Ward, there will be a primary only for Republicans, who must write in the names of the people they want as their candidates. The assumption is those names will be Bob Donahue and Priscilla Moore. Those two candidates will face the Democrats' choices, Justin Goldman and Ken Hollenbeck, in November. For Fifth Ward supervisor, Rick Scalera is running unopposed on just about every line.

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