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September 18, 2018

Democrats Make Gains In County Legislature


OSWEGO, NY – Four incumbent legislators are in danger of losing their seats, according to Tuesday’s unofficial results.

Frank Castiglia Jr. (D) looks certain to unseat Louella LeClair in District 25.

Joe Susino (R) is poised to upset Doug Malone (D) in District 20.

In District 5 Roy Reehil (R) is ahead of incumbent Ronald Sakonyi (C).

John Brandt (R) is lagging slightly behind challenger Richard P. Kline (C).

“Establishing a work ethic is so important in politics and I am thrilled at the effort all those involved with the Susino campaign put in. That effort has paid off with what looks to be a victory for Oswego County, the town of Oswego and the Republican Party,” said Mike Backus, Oswego County GOP chair. “We are very confident that this vote total will hold and once every vote is counted Joe Susino will be the chosen voice of the people in Oswego Town.”

“I ran a good clean race,” Malone said. “I’m still confident that the votes will be there for me when everything is all accounted for.”

Susino said he was confident his slim lead was going to hold up.

“I think so,” he told Oswego County Today. “The people have spoken.”

A ballot snafu in Malone’s district was corrected shortly after it was reported early Tuesday morning and likely won’t have any effect on the outcome of the race, according to county election officials.

Nine voters, living in Malone’s district, had been given incorrect ballots – ballots for the legislator whose district starts across the road from Malone’s.

Only one actually voted and discovered he didn’t vote for Malone as he intended to do.

Oswego County Elections Commissioner Richard Atkins said it isn’t an issue.

The problem was corrected quickly, he said.

“All the ballots were corrected, the machines worked perfectly,” he said. “This won’t do a thing (about the final outcome).”

The winner won’t be known until next week, after the more than two dozen absentee votes are counted, he added.

As of Tuesday night, Republican challenger Joe Susino held a 254 – 246 advantage over Malone, a Democrat.

“Louella LeClair ran a spirited campaign and contributed so much to drive the debate in the Oswego County legislature,” Backus added. “While I am disappointed she came up short, I believe she has left a significant mark on all the legislature that will continue to impact the debate going forward.It’s important to have good, qualified candidates running for office and in (District 5) we had two great people on the ballot. I thank Ron Sakonyi for his service to Oswego County and I look forward to working with Roy.”

Billy Barlow has topped Frank Clavelli Jr. in the race for the Fifth Ward seat on the Oswego council. Incumbent Dan Donovan chose not to run for another term.

Throughout the campaign, Barlow impressed Backus with his work.

“He worked hard at every step of the campaign and earned each and every vote,” the GOP chair said. “I am overjoyed at his victory and I wish him luck serving on the city council.”

In other Oswego council races, Democrat Fran Enwright (First Ward) withstood a challenge from Republican Brenda Rice and Republican Mike Todd (Third Ward) defeated Democrat Robert Janey, according to the unofficial tally.

“Mike Todd has always been a passionate advocate for his constituents and causes he believes in. He works hard on the city council and delivers results for the residents in his ward,” Backus said. “Tonight’s results and Mike’s victory, proves that hard work does pay off.”

Unofficial results for other contested county legislature races include: Shane Broadwell (R) defeated challenger Ken Cuyler (TVT) in District 17; Marie Schadt was unopposed in her quest for the seat in District 19; Stephen Walpole (R) defeated Brad Coe (C) in District 14; and Terry Wilbur beat Michael P. Bukolt (YRC).

“Vice chairman Wilbur continues to be a strong leader on the legislature,” Backus said of the Republican legislator. “I am thrilled to continue working with him.”

Malone’s defeat could be a big loss to the county Democrats. He is the Minority Whip.

“We don’t know yet for sure,” said Mike Kunzwiler, Minority Leader. “There are still a lot of votes to be counted.”

“I really feel good. We had a good run. They got dirty, I didn’t. I kept it clean,” Malone said. “I feel really relived. We’ll just have to wait and see how things turn out.”

Schadt has served on the town board previous, “so this isn’t my first rodeo,” she said.

“We need a lot of people; we need about 10 more people at least to stand up and do some stuff,” she added.

The Democrats have likely gained at least on seat inthe legislature.

“Even if Doug doesn’t win, which I still think he will, we’ve picked up a seat,” Kunzwiler said.

Besides Kunzwiler, Democrat legislators include Amy Tresidder, Jacob Mulcahey, Dan Farfaglia, Schadt and Castiglia.

“Doug would make it seven. So either way we’ve picked up a seat, maybe two,” Kunzwiler said. “No matter what happens, we had a net gain.”

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