Next Tuesday's Democratic Primary includes mayoral races in Schenectady and Troy.
Former Troy City Council President Rodney Wiltshire lost a three-way Democratic mayoral primary in 2015 to Patrick Madden, who wound up winning the general. Now he’s trying again as Madden seeks a second four-year term. "I don't want to take anything for granted because this primary is at an odd time or a new time of year. You know, getting out the vote is going to be crucial. Our operation is working very hard, we're working pretty much around the clock on our efforts and you know we're not going to leave anything to chance. What we're getting back and the feedback we're getting form the voters is very positive and encouraging for my campaign. You know they really have seen what the current mayor has been doing and they have very strong opinions about him and his so-called leadership and expertise. It's manifested itself very vividly in our city over the past four years and people really have had enough of it. We're ready to bring 'em that change," said Wiltshire.
Madden’s first term has included troubles on the police force, the closure of public swimming pools the past two summers and the imposition of a garbage fee. But the pools are reopening this summer, and Madden has celebrated smoother budgeting and a booming downtown district.
The Madden campaign has not responded to requests for comment.
Schenectady, Democrat Gary McCarthy is seeking a third four-year term in office. He's credited with revitalizing the city's downtown. Supporters say McCarthy’s cut property taxes four years in a row and welcomed casino gambling to the Electric City. "I've been running a fairly aggressive primary campaign, door-to-door campaigning with follow-up phone calls and I have done Direct Mail. Putting up the lawn signs and reminding people of the change of primary date. So it'll be this Tuesday, June 25th from noon till 9. I feel very positive with the response I'm getting door-to-door and looking forward to individual support and continuing the opportunity to serve Schenectady as its mayor for the next four years," said McCarthy.
McCarthy's primary challenger is political newcomer Thearse McCalmon. The New York City native settled in Schenectady in her early 20s, after a tragedy left her family homeless for three months. McCalmon has a background in education, retail management and banking.
She wasn't available for comment but in an email tells WAMC she is "very confident in our people-powered campaign." She adds Schenectady "... can be a unified city economically and socially. No longer a city of the 'haves' and 'have-nots' but a Schenectady for all. It is up to the people to decide if they want to make that needed change by getting out to vote on Tuesday."
Republicans do not plan to run a candidate for mayor this fall.