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Niskayuna town supervisor wins second term; Columbia County voters back Democratic DA candidate

Newly-elected Columbia County District Attorney Chris Liberati-Conant and re-elected Niskayuna Town Supervisor Jaime Puccioni
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Chris4da.com & Jaime Puccioni
Newly-elected Columbia County District Attorney Chris Liberati-Conant; re-elected Niskayuna Town Supervisor Jaime Puccioni

A new district attorney was elected in Columbia County on Tuesday in one of a number of compelling local races.

Republican Columbia County DA Paul Czajka decided not to run again after 12 years. His endorsed candidate, Deputy Chief Assistant DA Ryan Carty, was defeated by Assistant Solicitor General for New York State Chris Liberati-Conant, a Democrat, 3,372 to 1,445.

"I really think this is the dawn of a new day in Columbia County. And we're, we're really looking forward to getting to work. I'll definitely be working on the transition over the next few weeks and I'm looking forward to establishing a culture in the district attorney's office that is dedicated to truth and to ethics and to fairplay for everybody," said Liberati-Conant. 

In Schenectady County, Democratic town supervisor Jaime Puccioni beat back a challenge from Republican former Niskayuna school board member Brian Backus 3,463 to 2,422 votes.

"I am honored the voters put their trust in me," said Puccioni . "I'm going to be focused on being fiscally responsible, focusing on improving our quality of life and making positive improvements to our police department. I'm just really excited to continue building on the successes my team has had over the past few years."

In a second two-year term, Puccioni says she is working on a public-private partnership to being a new community center and town pool to Niskayuna.

"What I really love about Jaime is if we give grant money to Niskayuna, it gets in the field within a year. I can't say that for many places," said State Assemblymember Phil Steck, a Democrat from the 110th district.

Meantime, the Schenectady City Council is staying all-Democrat. Voters elected Joe Mancini and re-elected incumbents Carl Williams, Doreen Ditoro and Carmel Patrick.

"I'm really hoping that our city council will be able to more firmly collaborate and strengthen our communication with one another," Patrick said. 

Elsewhere, in Albany County, Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler breezed into a second term. The Democrat ran unopposed save for two write-in challengers. Also unopposed: Republican Colonie Town Supervisor Peter Crummey, Republican Rotterdam Town Supervisor Mollie Collins, as well as Bethlehem Town Supervisor David VanLuven, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy and Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, all Democrats.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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