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Challengers Take Mayoral Seats In Cambridge, Stillwater

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Village elections were held across New York Wednesday. Two challengers in some of the only contested mayoral races in the region claimed victory over their incumbent opponents.

Many New York communities traditionally hold village elections on a Tuesday in March. This year, communities saw their elections pushed back a day as to not interfere with St. Patrick’s Day.

The Washington County village of Cambridge was among a handful of contested mayoral races in the region.

In the community of around 1,800 near the Vermont border, two-year incumbent mayor Valerie Reagan faced off against village trustee Carman Bogle.

At the end of the night, it was Bogle who defeated Regan in the non-partisan contest.

Bogle said she was overwhelmed with excitement Thursday morning.

“It’s a pleasure, it’s a real pleasure to serve this community in this capacity. And I’m just excited to get to work.”

Bogle told WAMC before the election that she would like to review village zoning laws, see upgrades at the local fire house, and work to support village businesses.

She said Thursday her first order of business would be to meet with the village department heads and staff.

“I don’t plan on many major changes right off the bat. It’s more just getting in there and creating those relationships with the different employees,” said Bogle. “We have a great staff here in the village.”

Outgoing mayor Valerie Reagan said she would like to sit down with the mayor-elect to discuss the transition. Reagan said the village has several projects in the works, including the revitalization of the former Mary McClellan hospital, which was closed in 2003.

“There is a tremendous amount of activity, a lot of work to be done, a lot of things to focus on. So I think it will be challenging, and I think she probably is going to be up to the challenge.”

Bogle thanked Reagan for her service to Cambridge, who said she would remain active in the community.

The Saratoga County village of Stillwater will also have a new mayor in April, as Ernest Martin, who has served for the past 22 years, was defeated by challenger Rick Nelson, a village native who had never before held elected office. By the end of the night, Nelson defeated Martin 194 to 132.

The race in the village of around 1,600 was the only contested mayoral race in the county.

Nelson thanked his supporters and said he felt a sense of satisfaction.

“The unofficial committee that I had and how hard they worked to get the message out and to keep us on track…it’s just an overwhelming feeling to see it come together. It’s just unbelievable.”

Nelson, who runs a landscaping and home repair business, has served on the village zoning board and Waterfront Revitalization Committee.

Nelson had said his platform was based on the concerns of local residents. He said he will continue to work for them in the village.

“And I will listen to what they have to say and I will make notes, and take it back to the board. We as a team will try to address any concerns that the village residents have.”

Nelson has said he respects the work done by Mayor Ernest Martin for more than two decades.

Mayor Martin was not reachable Thursday morning but told the Daily Gazette, “We had a good run, and I’ll go down as the longest serving mayor in Stillwater history.”

In the Fulton County village of Mayfield,  incumbent mayor Jamie Ward retained his seat after defeating a challenge from former mayor Harvey Hart. In Montgomery County, Fort Plain mayor Guy Barton defeated a challenge from Tolga Murawski.

In Warren County, Hagaman mayor Robert Krom defeated village trustee John Hassfurter. In Lake George mayor Robert Blais secured another term in an uncontested race, putting him on track to become the longest-serving mayor in the country. He was first elected to the position in 1971.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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