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Early Capital Region Primary Results Show Most Incumbents Holding On

Albany Common Councilor Sonia Frederick and Mayor Kathy Sheehan.
Albany Common Councilor Sonia Frederick and Mayor Kathy Sheehan.

Mayor Kathy Sheehan has declared victory in Albany’s Democratic primary, defeating the Rev. Valerie Faust. According to the Albany County Board of Elections, with 100 percent of the city's election districts reporting, Sheehan leads 3,688 to 2,093. The board issued 1,923 absentee ballots, and 944 were returned as of Tuesday morning. Sheehan's vote total is the lowest of her three primary victories — in 2017, she received 6,650 votes, down from 7,468 votes in 2013. Both Sheehan and Faust ran relatively quiet campaigns, with no debates and little in-person campaigning. Sheehan now faces Independent candidate Greg Aidala and Republican nominee Alicia Purdy in the November general election.

In other unofficial results Tuesday night, Gabriella Romero won the open Sixth Ward Common Council seat over Jeff Mayo and Susan Pedo. In the First Ward, first-term Common Councilor Sonia Frederick held off challenger Scott Mannarino. In the Second Ward, Councilor Derek Johnson turned back a challenge by Lovett Branch. In the Fifth Ward, Councilor Jahmel Robinson led Wilmer Lawson.

The race for the Ward Seven seat will likely go to absentee ballots, with a close finish between Violette DeRosa and Sergio Adams, and former Albany County Legislator Brian Scavo in a distant third. Councilor Joyce Love led two challengers in the race for the Third Ward seat. In the Ninth Ward, Meghan Keegan defeated Jolyn Gallagher, and in the 11th, Councilor Alfredo Balarin outpaced Luis Williams. In the 14th Ward, Deborah Zamer beat Celia Evers.

In official results from the Schenectady County Board of Elections, Joseph Guidarelli won the Democratic primary for Rotterdam town supervisor over Steven Tommasone.

In Schenectady, incumbent Councilor Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas was knocked out of a hotly-contested, four-way race for three full city council terms. Councilor Marion Porterfield led with 29.2 percent of the vote Tuesday night, followed by council President John Mootooveren and challenger Damonni Farley. Meanwhile, in a race to fill two vacancies on the council, Carl Williams and Doreen Ditoro led Haileab Samuel.

In Rensselaer County, Gwen Wright won the Working Families Party primary against Sara McDermott. She'll go on to face Republican County Executive Steve McLaughlin in November.

Among the Democratic primaries for Troy City Council, Emily Menn won in District Four over Anthony Papineau, and Kiani Conley-Wilson defeated Cary Dresher in District Five. In District Six, Marketa Edwards led Cheryl Kennedy by just 10 votes.

To the north, Warrensburg town supervisor Kevin Geraghty declared victory against former Warren County Sheriff Bud York in the Republican primary. In other notable races, Socialist candidate India Walton is on track to be Buffalo's first female mayor, upsetting incumbent Mayor Byron Brown. Walton declared victory Tuesday night, but Brown has yet to concede. In Rochester, City Councilman Malik Evans defeated incumbent Mayor Lovely Warren in the Democratic primary there. 

In non-election political news, Niskayuna town board member Rosemarie Perez Jaquith resigned Tuesday effective July 1, saying she is moving to Washington, D.C. The Democrat was elected to a four-year term in 2019.

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