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Capital Region News

Four Troy Mayoral Hopefuls

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Time Warner Cable News
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Voters are going to the polls in Troy, where the mayoral race has taken many twists and turns leading up to election day.

When Democratic Mayor Lou Rosamilia announced early on he wasn't seeking another term, several individuals stepped forward to express interest in the city's top spot. In the end, it has boiled down to four candidates — each with different skill sets and ideas they say will benefit the Collar City. 

Patrick Madden is the Democratic choice. Rodney Wiltshire is running on the Working Families Party line. Madden and Wiltshire surged ahead of Ernest Everett in the September primary, separated by five votes.

When affadavit and absentee ballots were tallied a few days later, Madden, who had received the party's blessing, took the ballot line 887 total votes to Wiltshire's 837.

An elated Madden addressed reporters that day:    "I would hope, though, that with this count, the Democrats in the City of Troy can begin to come together and heal old wounds, put aside personal grievances and grudges, and reunite and work toward the common goal of leading the city forward."

Madden has worked for TRIP, Troy's Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, for three decades. Neighborhoods are one of his priorities and one of many pressing issues in Troy including infrastructure, crime, gun violence, and a proposed 9.3 percent tax hike.

Losing the primary to Madden by 50 votes didn't deter Wiltshire, who’s on the City Council.  "...many voters don't understand that they can, you know, jump across party lines when they're casting their vote. I hope the voters that are listening understand that, and we'll make sure that they understand that because their vote is important and it needs to be counted."

Councilman Jim Gordon is on the Republican line. He views lawlessness as a major problem and stated his position on crime in August, shortly after two police officers were wounded in a fatal shootout with a carjacking suspect.  "We can no longer endure what we've been enduring for the last two years. Arsons and stabbings and shootings. Murder. Blood on our streets in Troy.  Neighbors don't need to live in terror."

Gordon has been the target of some old-fashioned political mudslinging: someone described by the Times Union as a "Democratic operative" sent the newspaper audio of a 911 call Gordon's wife made in mid-summer when the couple had a "domestic dispute." Gordon and his wife said it was a private matter and have called for an investigation into the leak.

Wiltshire brought up underhanded tactics during an October debate at Time Warner Cable News, questioning Madden directly about negative campaigning against himself and Gordon.  Madden responded:   "It makes no sense for me to go negative. I have a resume that eminently qualifies me for this position. Going negative against people is not part of my character, never has been, it's not an area where I'm comfortable, and we have stood by that. We have made no comments, we have done no robocalls that have been negative, we have done nothing other than promote my background, my characteristics to serve as mayor. Nothing. My website does not mention any of your people stealing my signs, it doesn't mention anything about how trashy somebody's campaign is, it doesn't go into that childish stuff."

Jack Cox, running on the Revolutionary Party line, did not participate in that debate, although he appeared about a week later at the Troy 100 Forum at Russell Sage College. He did not respond to a request for comment.

The other three have picked up powerful endorsements:  Congessman Chris Gibson and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino are backing Gordon. Former gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout is standing behind Wilsthire. And Madden, in addition to getting a nod of approval from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Paul Tonko, has been endorsed by his sister, Republican Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino, who crossed party lines to offer support.

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