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In Colonie Town Supervisor Race, Six-Term Democrat Mahan Clings To 62-Vote Lead

Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan will need a strong absentee ballot performance to remain in the seat she has held for a dozen years.

Mahan, a Democrat, is clinging to a 62-vote lead as she seeks a seventh two-year term in the Albany suburb of more than 80,000.

She was not ready to declare victory Tuesday night. 

“We have to wait for the absentees to come in,” Mahan said Tuesday night. “I’m glad we’re 62 ahead, that’s a good place to be. But there’s still a ways to go. We’ll see how the numbers pan out. I know that we ran a great campaign, a very respectful, honest campaign.”

Republican George Scaringe garnered 10,207 votes, according to unofficial results from the Albany County Board of Elections.

“My thoughts are that we’ve got 700 absentee ballots to count,” Scaringe said Tuesday night. “We’re going to continue to go forward to see where it is. We’re going to try to count every vote. Every vote counts and that’s where we’re going.”

The Board of Elections says 1,120 absentee ballots were sent out, with 749 returned.

Mahan has been in office since 2008 after 25 years as an educator in the North Colonie School District. Speaking at Swifty’s bar on Everett Road Tuesday night, she detailed why she thinks the race is so close.

“I think it was a little different type of race,” Mahan said. “We ran a race the way we always do. It was a difficult race. There was a lot of misinformation out there and nastiness. Unless you’re in a position like this people don’t really understand how much of a job it is, the amount of work that goes into it and in order for things to run right, you’ve got to deal with the facts and that’s what counts. And that’s what I’ve always done. I just don’t want the town going backwards in a position that it was in when I got there. And that’s all I can hope for.”

Scaringe has been involved in Albany County politics for decades, leading both the County and Town Republican Committees. Gathering with supporters at Blu Stone Bistro on Albany Shaker Road, he said the race is tight because he hit on the issues town residents care about.

“The reason I didn’t probably make it successfully over the top, I’m running against an incumbent,” Scaringe said. “Even though I’ve got a lot of experience in this business, I still had to overcome an incumbent. I knew from day one it’d be an uphill fight. But the people that we talked to going door to door, told us what the problems are. I talked to a lot of people in Colonie that are hurting. A lot of people in Colonie that are not being taken care of or answered to and they’re desperate for leadership. And I don’t think there is any leadership on that side of the aisle to tell you the truth.” 

Mahan garnered 743 votes on the Independence Party line in addition to 9,526 Democratic votes. Scaringe brought in 1,329 via the Conservative line, adding to 8,878 Republican votes.

There are nearly 55,000 registered voters in Colonie, including about 21,000 Democrats and roughly 14,750 Republicans. Approximately 38 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the supervisor’s race, the first to offer early voting.

The Albany County Board of Elections says it will open the absentee ballots at 9 a.m. November 19. 

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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