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Woolbright Elected Mayor Of Ballston Spa

The Saratoga County Village of Ballston Spa will have a new mayor and a new dynamic on the village board.

Republican Larry Woolbright was elected Tuesday to serve as the next mayor of Ballston Spa.

Woolbright ran unopposed and will succeed incumbent Mayor John Romano, who is retiring from village politics after 28 years.

Woolbright’s uncontested run came after he was endorsed by both local Democratic and Republican committees, though he only accepted the Republican nomination. A potential challenge by former Ballston Spa Mayor James Capasso Jr. was squashed after his petition signatures to appear on the ballot were successfully challenged.

Woolbright, who served on a village budget advisory committee last year, already knows the first thing he’d like to address when he is sworn in April 1st.

“Straighten out the finances.”

Woolbright will serve with a village board controlled by Democrats. Liz Kormos and Christine Fitzpatrick were elected, joining fellow Democrats Noah Shaw and Shawn Raymond.

Woolbright says he is ready to work with anyone.

“Everybody in this race was in it for the right reasons,” said Woolbright. “And they all want to help the village and I’m sure we’ll have no trouble all working together to do that.”

Facing mounting fiscal problems, the village last year approved a 17.5 percent tax increase.

Kormos served on the budget advisory committee with Woolbright, as did the two defeated Republican village board candidates, Rory O’Connor and Peter Martin. Reading from a statement, Kormos also has village finances on her mind.

“Together we will steer Ballston Spa towards a goal of financial health, repair our infrastructure, and redevelop existing properties.”

Fitzpatrick said village finances are “job one.”

“And from there, everything else will flow,” said Fitzpatrick.

With victories by Fitzpatrick and Kormos, their campaign manager Keith Lewis says it’s the first time Democrats will control the village board in more than four decades.

“This village has changed so much over those 50 years. And so it’s important that we catch up, the government catches up with the community. And I think that’s what happened tonight,” said Lewis.

More than 880 ballots were cast in the village election. About 5,500 people live In Ballston Spa.

Mayor Romano said he was pleased with the turnout and said Ballston Spa will continue to “move forward” with Woolbright to assume his position on April 1st.

“I think the village will be in good hands with Larry,” said Romano.

Woolbright also thanked Romano for his time serving Ballston Spa.

“He’s done a tremendous amount to improve the village, to support the downtown business district, and to improve the quality of life of the residents, and I think we all owe him a huge thank you,” said Woolbright.

In some other area results:

Democratic village trustee Tim LeBaron will be the next mayor of Schuylerville in Saratoga County.

Former South Glens Falls Mayor Joe Orlow will serve on the northern Saratoga County's village board. The Republican was elected Tuesday night, along with Republican incumbent village trustee Tim Carota. 

In Granville, village trustee and Independent candidate Paul Labas defeated former village treasurer and Independent candidate Robert Tatko for mayor.

In Fort Ann, incumbent Mayor Denis Langlois fended off a challenge from William Carey.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
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