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Madden Wins Troy Democratic Mayoral Primary, Wiltshire Not Giving Up

Lucas Willard

After a count of absentee ballots, there is a winner of Troy's Democratic mayoral primary. The victor of the race deemed too close to call on election night last week is now focused on November.

It was standing-room-only at the Rensselaer County Board of Elections Wednesday morning as the affidavit and absentee ballots were counted to determine the winner of Troy's Democratic mayoral primary.

It was Patrick Madden and Rodney Wiltshire who came out ahead of Ernest Everett Thursday night. At the time, Madden and Wiltshire were only separated by five votes.

The room went silent as the votes were counted Wednesday morning.

At the end of the morning's count, Madden, the endorsed Democrat, secured the ballot line with 887 total votes to City Council President Wiltshire's 837.

The two shook hands, but Wiltshire left the room quickly. Madden joined the press outside.

"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 — that's what we all campaigned on — the best interests of the city — and now is the time to come together and work on the city's issues," said Madden.

Madden, who began the race not enrolled in the party, has worked for Troy's Rehabilitation and Improvement Program for three decades. Madden said his experience will help bring change to the neighborhoods of Troy, which have made headlines in the last year for crime and fires.

"We have rehabbed a couple hundred buildings in the City of Troy,  we've put them back on the tax rolls, we provide affordable housing, home improvement programs, homebuyer education programs — we help people buy homes — that's really critical for the City of Troy right now," said Madden.

Madden will face Revolution Party candidate Jack Cox and Republican candidate Jim Gordon in November. Gordon, who sits on the city council, said the city's Democratic leadership has not listened to city residents. Mayor Lou Rosamilia is not seeking another term.

"We had residents who didn't have natural gas to heat their homes, we had residents that lived next door to arson-vacant-fire buildings and they still do! Why? Because the administration sits on their hands and it’s not their priority to address these issues. That's not what we’re hearing out on the campaign trail, and that's not what the Democrats are talking about. They're talking about fighting amongst themselves," said Gordon.

As Madden prepares to expand his campaign in the run-up to November 3rd, Gordon said he expects a challenge in the race.

"I've gotta think they're going to be out working hard.  Obviously they've worked hard enough to  win a primary against somebody who a lot of people thought in this city was the most popular individual to win any election — let alone a primary, the city council, or the general," said Gordon.

But Wiltshire is not out yet.

On Wednesday afternoon, Wiltshire said he considers a 50-vote loss in a contest of about 2,000 votes that involved two other candidates a victory over the Democratic "machine."

Wiltshire will continue a clean campaign on the Working Families Party line.

"There's going to be an education process in here. One of the things that we know is that many voters don't understand that they can 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. And we want to make sure that every voter in Troy knows that I am best candidate in all of Troy and puts the party politics behind them," said Wiltshire.

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