Election season arrives with primary voting

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By Bill Toscano


On the local level, this election season is a quiet one, but Granville area residents will be choosing new state and federal legislators, as well as voting for president.

There is a Republican primary for town justice in Hartford, Thursday, Sept. 13, between Sam Irwin and Sharon Scofield. Both are qualified to run as independent candidates as well.

There is a three-year council seat open, and the only candidate is Democrat Robert Dillon. There is a one-year seat in Hebron, and only Republican Ed Harrington is on the ballot.

Hartford will have an election for a town judge, though the candidates are not yet set, and there will be a town council election in both Hartford and Hebron.

Election Day is Nov. 6, and while the local races are limited, there is plenty going on at the state and national levels.


State assembly races

Until this year, Washington County was a single state legislative district and had been represented by Rep. Tony Jordan, a Republican who is an attorney in Greenwich.

After the redistricting that followed the 2010 census, the only local town remaining in his district, the 113th, is Hartford.

The rest of the northern end of the county is in the 114th district and will choose between Queensbury Supervisor Dan Stec, a Republican, and Glens Falls attorney Dennis Tarantino, a Queensbury attorney who is on the Democratic and Working Families ballot lines. Stec is also on the Conservative and Independence party lines.

The new district includes all towns in Essex and Warren counties, as well as the towns of  Dresden, Fort Ann, Granville, Hampton, Hebron, Putnam and Whitehall in Washington County and Day, Hadley and Edinburgh in Saratoga County.

Stec is a lifelong resident of Queensbury, who attended Clarkson University. He was re-elected in November to a fourth two-year term as Queensbury supervisor and is also chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors. He previously served five years as a town councilman, and before that was an officer in the U.S. Navy. Stec has been an advocate of budget-cutting and combined country departments while on the county board.

He is also known as an opponent of unfunded mandates, federal or state requirements which do not come with funding for towns to put them into place.

Tarantino has said his focus in the Assembly would be on bringing jobs, growth and community to the towns in the region. He attended Siena and the Albany Law School.

Tarantino has run for the position before. He was defeated by Teresa Sayward in 2004. Sayward’s retirement opened up this year’s race.

Tarantino is focusing on his experience as a businessman. His title insurance company, Maple Abstract and Realty Corp., is one of the largest in the Capital Region.


Jordan vs. Woerner

Voters in Hartford and most of the rest of the county will choose between Jordan and Democrat Carrie Woerner for the 113th District seat.

Woerner has been on the village of Round Lake Board of Trustees since 2008. She says her focus there has been on “responsible development, open space protection, and transparent government.” She also serves on several other local boards and has long been an engaged member in her community.

Woerner has also worked in the high-tech field for nearly 30 years, and currently the vice president of the software division for The Wall Street Transcript. Woerner holds a bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA with a concentration in finance from Santa Clara University.

She took five years out of high-tech and spent that time as the executive director of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation. There, she developed funding for the Beekman Street Arts District rehabilitation, oversaw historic cemetery restoration, and successfully advocated for legislation protecting Saratoga Race Course historic buildings.

Jordan is a partner in the law firm of Jordan & Kelly LLC, and has served in the Assembly since his election in 2008. He was born in North Creek in the heart of the Adirondacks. After graduating from Johnsburg Central School, he went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in finance from the University of Notre Dame in 1986. He then returned to the Glens Falls area where he worked in banking before returning to school to pursue his law degree. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 1995.

Jordan, the No. 3 Republican in the state Assembly, has long focused on improving the business climate in the state. He is the ranking minority member on the committee on local governments. He also serves on the assembly’s committees of ways and means, codes, judiciary and banks.

He is a volunteer with the Greenwich Lions Club, Cornell University FarmNet Program, the Boy Scouts, youth soccer, the Greenwich Lions Club and the Knights of Columbus. He also teaches Sunday school and does pro-bono legal work for several fire companies and rescue squads.


No foe for Little

In the 45th Senate District, Betty Little has no opponent as she vies for her sixth term.

When asked to list her successes in the Senate, Little focuses on an initiative that encourages local governments to work cooperatively and share services to save tax dollars; reform of the adverse possession law to ensure greater fairness for property owners; creation of a program to eradicate invasive species which threaten Adirondack streams, rivers and lakes; creation of the Adirondack Community Housing Trust; and passage of the historic Timber Theft Law.

Little, the mother of an active-duty combat veteran, also sponsored a law designating the Adirondack Northway, I-87, the “Adirondack Veterans’ Memorial Highway” in honor of New Yorkers who have served our country.

She serves as chair of the Senate Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Committee.  In addition, she is a member of the following Senate committees: Civil Service and Pensions; Consumer Protection; Crime Victims, Crime and Correction; Environmental Conservation; Judiciary; and Local Government.

Born in Glens Falls, she is a graduate of St. Mary’s Academy and the College of Saint Rose with a degree in elementary education. A former teacher and Realtor, she resides in Queensbury. Little is the mother of six children, Elizabeth, David, Robert, Thomas, Carolyn and Luke, and the proud grandmother of 14.


Congressional race


Congressman Bill Owens, a Democrat, has represented New York’s 23rd Congressional District since November of 2009, when he won a special election, but Watertown businessman Matt Doheny, a Republican, has been pursuing an aggressive campaigning to replace him. Doheny’s campaign began with him visiting 50 small businesses in 50 days, starting in Washington County.

Owens, who initially won an election to fill an unexpired term, won election in his own right a year later.
After graduating from law school, Owens enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served as a captain at Plattsburgh Air Force Base. He stayed in the region as an attorney after he left the Air Force.

Doheny, 41, was raised in the Adirondacks. He graduated from Allegheny College and Cornell Law School. He practiced law, then went into business and eventually became Deutsche Bank’s managing director for distressed assets. He helped purchase large troubled companies and restructure them so they could once again operate independently.

In 2008, Doheny left Deutsche Bank to join Fintech Advisory, a money management firm. He left Fintech in 2010 to start his own company, North Country Capital LLC. The company lends start-up funds to entrepreneurs who don’t have access to traditional funding streams. It also provides working capital to existing businesses to help them grow.

In the 2010 election, Owens won with 82,232 votes (47.5 percent), barely ahead of Doheny, who had 80,237 (46.4 percent). Doug Hoffman, the Conservative candidate, dropped out and endorsed Owens, but received 10,507 votes (6.1 percent.)

The two are running in the newly created 21st Congressional District, and Doheny is also on the Independence and Conservative party ballot lines.

A debate is scheduled between Owens and Doheny at 7 p.m., Sept. 25, at the Queensbury High School auditorium. Candidates in the 113th and 114th Assembly districts are also expected to be there. It is sponsored by the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce.


Gillibrand faces Long

Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand is in her fourth year as a senator. She joined the U.S. Senate after Hillary Rodham Clinton became secretary of state in 2009 and then won election in November 2010.

In the Senate, she has helped lead the fight to repeal “don’t ask don’t tell,” the policy that bans gays from serving openly in the military, and to provide health care and compensation to the 9/11 first responders and community survivors who are sick with diseases caused by the toxins at ground zero.

She says her top priority is to rebuild the American economy, by creating good-paying jobs, helping small businesses get loans, and partnering with the private sector to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

Her opponent, Republican Wendy Long, has lived in New York for 14 years. She was raised in New Hampshire, where she attended public schools and then graduated from Dartmouth College. She went to Washington, D.C., during the Reagan years to work in the U.S. Senate for Sen. Gordon Humphrey (R-N.H.) and then Sen. Bill Armstrong (R-Colo.).

She attended Northwestern University School of Law and Harvard Law School, receiving her legal degree. She practiced law with Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, becoming a litigation partner in New York City. She left private practice to build the Judicial Confirmation Network.

That organization, now known as the Judicial Crisis Network, is designed to educate the public about the role of the judiciary system according to the constitution and to promote judges who have, in the group’s view, “exercised judicial restraint,” rather than serving as activist judges.


Presidential election


The final ballots for the fall election have not been prepared yet, but the races also include the presidential campaign between President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.