Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Ear to the Ground

After Monday's rancorous Common Council meeting, Alderman Eileen Halloran (Fifth Ward) has declared that she will not be running for re-election. That leaves only incumbent Dominic Merante running for alderman in the Fifth Ward. With only seventeen days left to gather petition signatures to get on the ballot, no one has so far stepped up to run for the second seat to represent the Fifth Ward. 

Mayor Rick Rector has made known his intention to run for re-election and received the endorsement of the Hudson City Democratic Committee (HCDC), but there's a rumor making the rounds that Kamal Johnson, who is serving his first term as First Ward alderman, intends to run for mayor and is expected to announce his candidacy today. 

With the possibility of both First Ward aldermen vying for citywide office--Rob Bujan for Common Council president and Kamal Johnson for mayor--the First Ward is left with no incumbents and only one candidate. The HCDC has authorized Rebecca Wolff, who is not a Democrat but a member of the Working Families Party, to gather petition signatures to run for First Ward alderman on the Democratic line. So far, Wolff is the only potential candidate in the First Ward.

In the Second Ward, incumbent aldermen Tiffany Garriga and Dewan Sarowar are being challenged by Mohammed Rony. In the Third Ward, there are a number of challengers to incumbent aldermen Calvin Lewis and Shershah Mizan. The rumor is there are four, but Gossips has only been able to confirm two: Victor Mendolia and John Darby. In the Fourth Ward, both incumbents--Rich Volo and John Rosenthal--are expected to seek re-election.

At this point in time, it appears that the county supervisors from each ward--Sarah Sterling (First Ward), Abdus Miah (Second Ward), Michael Chameides (Third Ward), Linda Mussmann (Fourth Ward), and Rick Scalera (Fifth Ward)--will be running for re-election unopposed.

So here's the question: What happens if only one person runs for alderman in the First and Fifth wards? 


  1. It would be complicated. The basic answer is that if there is only one candidate and two positions to be filled, then the other position would be filled by the person getting the most write-in votes. If there were no write-in votes cast, or if a person elected by write-in refused to take office, then the current incumbent who did not run for re-election would hold over and execute the duties of the office until the Common Council appointed someone to fill the position. If there are two current incumbents and neither one is seeking re-election, I do no know which one would hold over. If an incumbent who would hold over under this scenario is ineligible--perhaps by having been elected to a new office--then I think the second council position would be wholly vacant until filled by the Common Council.

    New York Public Officers Law § 5
    § 5. Holding over after expiration of term

    Every officer except a judicial officer, a notary public, a commissioner of deeds and an officer whose term is fixed by the constitution, having duly entered on the duties of his office, shall, unless the office shall terminate or be abolished, hold over and continue to discharge the duties of his office, after the expiration of the term for which he shall have been chosen, until his successor shall be chosen and qualified; but after the expiration of such term, the office shall be deemed vacant for the purpose of choosing his successor. An officer so holding over for one or more entire terms, shall, for the purpose of choosing his successor, be regarded as having been newly chosen for such terms. An appointment for a term shortened by reason of a predecessor holding over, shall be for the residue of the term only.

    City of Hudson Charter § C3-6
    Filling of vacancies in office.
    Vacancies occurring in any manner, in any elective office, shall be filled by appointment by the Common Council. Such appointments, except in the cases specified in § C3-5 of this Charter, shall be made not less than 10 days nor more than 20 days after the occurrence of such vacancy at any meeting of the Common Council. Such officers so appointed to fill vacancies shall serve until and including the 31st day of December next following such appointment, and in case such term of office shall not expire on the 31st day of December next following such appointment, there shall be elected at the general election in the year in which such appointment shall be made a person who shall take office on the first day of January next following such appointment who shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term.

  2. Dare I say it: the Fair & Equal Fallout