Tom Gillen won the task of leading Oswego city government in 2012 with a strong victory Tuesday in the county’s most prominent contested election.
He beat Republican William “Dave” White by about a 65 – 35% margin, according to unofficial results from the county Board of Elections.
Gillen will take over for Randy Bateman, who chose not to run for reelection.
Earlier Tuesday evening, Gillen told Oswego County Today that he was “cautiously optimistic” as results began to trickle in to Vona’s Restaurant on Oswego’s westside where he and fellow Democrats were rallying with supporters.
“Things are looking pretty good right now, from what I’ve been told. The waiting does do a number on your nerves,” he admitted. “I believe we (both) ran a good campaign. I met a lot of interesting people.”
“That’s the way it goes,” a subdued White said. “I congratulated Mr. Gillen and I wished him well.”
“Mr. White called to congratulate me and I said, ‘I hope I can count on you going forward. If there are any ideas you might have, let me know.’ Now I am looking forward to getting going,” Gillen said.
“I don’t want to say I am thrilled, because I’m more than thrilled. I’m just overjoyed with the response from the people of Oswego,” he continued. “It was a long, hard campaign. But, I came from nobody knew who I was … and then all of a sudden people started saying, ‘Oh, I know who Tom Gillen is.’ And then the people on campaign ran a wonderful campaign, getting out the vote. I’m just pleased and very happy with the response from the entire community. I’m looking forward to keeping the city moving in the right direction. We have a lot of work ahead of us but together we can get it done.”
“I want to thank the voters for their support,” said Mike Todd who (unofficially) defeated Democrat Michael T. Johnson for the Third Ward seat on the Oswego Common Council. “It was a lot of fun going out into the ward and meeting people and hearing about their concerns. I met some great people in my ward. I really look forward to serving them.”
There are a lot of problems in the ward that he will need to address, he added.
“I want to be hands-on and be available for them whenever they need me,” he said.
Democrat Francis Enwright beat back Republican Brenda Rice to claim the First Ward council seat.
“It’s nice to have a lot of friends here. I really want to thank the voters who supported me,” he said. “Tom and I went to school together, so I feel really good about working with him.”
“I’d like to thank my opponent for an interesting race,” said Eric Vanburen who defeated Republican Steve Loadwick for the city’s Sixth Ward seat. “This was my first time. It was fun and a learning experience as well. If we all put the future of the city at the forefront, we can work together and we can really get some stuff accomplished. I am excited to get started and get in there and work with the rest of the guys.”
He did a lot of campaigning along side Gillen, he added.
In the other Oswego council races:
- Republican Mike Myers was unopposed in the Second Ward
- Incumbent Shawn Walker (Republican) turned back Democrat challenger David Sugar in the Fourth Ward.
- Republican Daniel Donovan was unopposed in the Fifth Ward
- Republican Ron Kaplewicz was unopposed in the Seventh Ward.
In Fulton, incumbent Republican Mayor Ron Woodward has won another term.
He faced challenges from Conservative Tom Kenyon, a member of the Common Council, and independent newcomer Ralph Stacy, Jr.
Woodward took 55% of the vote in unofficial tallies. Kenyon earned 27% of the vote and Stacy received 17% of the vote.
In a statement, Stacy offered a gracious concession. “I now call on all of you to work with the Mayor toward bettering our community. It is time for the citizens to unify once more, for the greater good of Fulton. I extend my congratulations to Mayor Woodward on his victory, and as I did during the election, I extend an offer of any assistance I can give to help our community. I wish him the best of luck, and congratulations on a hard fought battle,” Stacy wrote.
The political newcomer, a member of the police force at Cayuga Community College, thanked his supporters for what he called an awesome trip. “We may have lost this election, but if the people continue to hold city hall accountable, and work together toward a better Fulton, then we ultimately won regardless!”
Fulton’s Common Council will have a majority of Democrats in 2012.
Alan Emrich in the 1st Ward, Carmella Cavallaro in the 4th Ward and Lawrence Macner in the 6th Ward all won for the Democrats seats being vacated by incumbents.
Democrat Pete Franco and Republican Norman “Jay” Foster, both incumbents, won reelection, while Democrat Dan Knopp was unopposed.
Town Supervisor Ron Greenleaf won reelection by a large margin over former town leader Allen deMey. Jack Beckwith and Charles Reed won the two seats in the three-way race for town board. And Dan Mahaney keeps his job as town Highway Superintendent, but the margin of victory over George Ritchie was just 12 votes out of nearly 1,000 votes cast. A recount is possible.
Supervisor Vicky Mullen won a tight race for reelection. She beat Jeff Wallace, 52% to 48%. It was the town’s only contested race.
Incumbent town board member Carol Abbott lost her seat Tuesday. She finished third in the race for two seats on the board. Incumbent Matt Callen and challenger Lori Blackburn won the two seats.
Janet Ingersoll won the race for the unexpired term of the Town Clerk.
No other race in Granby was contested.
Greg Oakes won the job as Oswego County District Attorney. He beat an independent challenger.
There were very few contested races for County Legislature. Even so, the night saw one upset.
Democrat Dan Farfaglia beat incumbent Mark Fruce by a large margin.
Incumbents Morris Sorbello, James Karasek, Terry Wilbur, Jacob Mulcahey and Doug Malone all won reelection.
All other Legislature races were unopposed.