Schenectady Mayor McCarthy Wins Close Democratic Primary

Jun 26, 2019

The mayor of Schenectady is claiming victory in Tuesday’s Democratic primary as he seeks a third term. 

Democrat Gary McCarthy spoke to supporters Tuesday after surviving a close race against political newcomer Thearse McCalmon. Unofficial results from the Schenectady County Board of Elections showed McCarthy leading roughly 52-48 percent as he seeks another four-year term.

Speaking at a victory party after polls closed, McCarthy says the voters supported him because he gets results.

“I believe it’s [that] they looked at the record, the accomplishments that not only I’ve helped facilitate but the city council, our county legislature, the team that we have in place in this community is producing results and given the opportunity to continue,” McCarthy said.

Without naming names, McCarthy dismissed his political opponents.

“We are still subject to what I will call the chronic critics," McCarthy said. "There are people that no matter what we do will find fault, will criticize us, and will articulate a false position that is not sustainable, that is not financeable, or really doesn’t meet the needs of this community.”

The Schenectady County Republican Party does not plan to run a candidate in November’s general election, meaning McCarthy is on the road to another term after his primary win. But he says the Democrats must keep control of the city council to carry out his agenda.

“It’s important to keep that city council in place," said McCarthy. "And we need to win four seats.”

Asked about his plans for another term, McCarthy pointed to infrastructure and investments in Schenectady.

“It’s a continuation of what we’ve done over the last eight years," McCarthy said. "I want to look to continue to reduce crime, I want to create that environment that allows for investment in continued development both in our downtown and in our neighborhoods. We have that synergy that’s in the community and I want to just help facilitate it.”

Tuesday’s primary was just the latest close election for McCarthy, who won his 2011 general election by under 100 votes. Turnout was low in the primary, but McCarthy says he’s grateful that the voters of Schenectady are rewarding him as he seeks to win a third consecutive term — which would be a first in the city in almost four decades.

“It’s a humbling experience," said McCarthy. "They’ve acknowledged that and they’ve given me the opportunity to continue to lead this city.”