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Challenger Rowback Bests Incumbent King In Gloversville Mayoral Primary, Both Push Forward

William Rowback Jr. for Mayor/Facebook
William RowbacK Jr. at the polls on Tuesday

The Republican primary for mayor is over in the City of Gloversville, but the campaign between the two candidates on the ballot will continue into the fall.

Gloversville, in Fulton County, has been led by Mayor Dayton King since 2010.

Tuesday night, King was bested in the Republican primary by longtime county and city firefighter William Rowback Jr.. Rowback edged King by 57 votes, 53 to 46 percent.

He thanked his supporters after votes were tallied, but acknowledged the race is not over.

“This is only halfway through the race. It’s just like a marathon for me. 13.1 miles is down, 13.1 to go. And I will strive to work very hard, just as if I was the mayor,” said Rowback in a Facebook video. “I will be knocking on as many doors as I can from now until November 7th.”

That’s because King will appear in November on the Conservative line. He’s also seeking to secure an independent line.

The two-term mayor says he will continue to run a positive campaign.

“No matter what happens I’m going to continue to keep my head high and very proud of our team and what we’ve accomplished here, and continue to be an advocate for Gloversville.”

This is not the first time King has lost a Republican primary while running for mayor.

As a first-time candidate in 2009, King lost the Republican primary by 20 votes, but continued on to win the seat in a four-way race in November. In 2013, King won the Republican primary by only 13 votes. Four years later, he remains confident he’ll pull out another win in the general.

“Last night was really not a surprise, I really do appreciate the over-400 people that came out to vote for me. But again, I think it’s just a small sampling within the city and I’m still expected to do very well and win in November,” said King.

Democrat Phillip Carlson, who announced his campaign for mayor earlier this year, did not file to run on the Democratic party line.

Gloversville is a city of about 15,000 in the foothills of the Adirondacks in the Mohawk Valley. Once a leader in the nation’s glovemaking industry, population and employment have been on the wane since the 1950s.

The region faces similar challenges as other upstate communities, including the national opioid epidemic.

A topic that is likely to come up during the next leg of the campaign is a plan to share services with neighboring Johnstown.

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