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Mayor Gary McCarthy Wins Second Term In Schenectady

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

In a rematch of a razor-thin race four years ago, Mayor Gary McCarthy has been elected to a second term in Schenectady.

They last locked horns in 2011: McCarthy squeaked to victory over former Union College President Roger Hull by a mere 89 votes.

But four years later, the rematch between the Democratic incumbent and the Alliance Party founder was weighted by a series of events, including rollout of the Homes Program and the landing of the Rivers casino, along with steady economic and neighborhood improvements, laying  groundwork for a decisive McCarthy victory.     "The voters tonight have given an overwhelmingly positive endorsement of my policies and that of the city council and our working relationship with the county, so, I look forward to going over the next four years and continuing to build on the record we've put in place in the last four."

Councilman Ed Kosiur is optimistic.    "Of course, with landing the casino, it's certainly gonna be our biggest asset. Bringing in much-needed revenue to lower our property taxes, which is really our biggest concern, of all our residents, everybody we talked to on a doorstep, that was the number one concern."

The now twice-defeated Hull told Time Warner Cable News:   "I'm disappointed on my end more for the residents of Schenectady whom I was hoping to serve."

Nice weather is credited with getting those residents to the ballot box: poll workers at a few locations throughout the city told the Gazette turnout was higher than expected.

111th district Democratic Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara lauded the positives that have occurred on McCarthy's watch.   "A lot of things are happening, we're seeing a lot of progress, we're working on neighborhoods now. I expect that progress will continue and much, much more to happen. We continue to bring economic development projects, we see new investments happening. And it's not just one year. We're seeing it over year after year, we're seeing more and more projects coming to downtown Schenectady, to the point where people in the region and other parts of the state are knowing the name Schenectady, whereas years ago it was not like that. So people are taking notice, especially upstate cities are taking notice of what's happening here, because it is truly unique."

In his acceptance speech, McCarthy said his heart belongs to Schenectady:   "The campaign is over. The only effort that matters now is making our community a better and more attractive place to live and work."

The mayor made a clear push for unity across neighborhoods and party lines.   "We're all regardless of our partisan beliefs, a part of that effort, and we all need each other."

And he sealed those words with a promise to voters:   "I'm grateful for your confidence and trust, and I will do everything in my power to justify your belief in me."

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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