Unopposed, 7 Republican incumbents win

Unopposed, 7 Republican incumbents win
Photo courtesy of The Washington County, New York logo.

Seven Republican public officials representing the towns of Granville and Whitehall were unofficially reelected after all of them ran unopposed on Election Day on Nov. 2.

The Washington County Board of Elections confirmed on Nov. 5 that certified results are anticipated at the end of November after absentee ballots are opened and counted on the week of Nov. 15.

Contrary to tight races in Greenwich and White Creek, most townships in Washington County hosting elections saw no opponents.

Whitehall supervisor John Rozell

Whitehall supervisor John Rozell was up for re-election and was happy to see the results. He spoke about being glad that he will continue to work with the same board that he has been working with.  

“I’m glad the election turned out the way that it did and the board is the same,” he said. “I am pleased with people who voted, the board members, and the overall turnout.” 

Rozell has been on the board for more than a decade now and still remains resilient about bringing more businesses and people to Whitehall. One of the most recent projects that Rozell has been working on with the board is the addition of more health services for community members. 

“Hudson Headwaters has a mobile van that will be making their way to the area in the coming months,” he said. “They will be offering more appointments for community members in addition to the services we already have in Whitehall.”

Something else Rozell will be doing during his next term is working more with the village. He said he wants to try to rejuvenate businesses such as the museum.

“I’d like to also work a little more with the village for tourism and work towards having a bigger tourist population,” he said.  “I’d like to see what they can do to help draw people in and get businesses started.”

Granville supervisor Matt Hicks

With 481 votes, Granville supervisor Matt Hicks was reelected to his sixth full term of two years in tenure as of Jan. 1 when he stepped into the role following the passing of supervisor Rodger Hurley. There were 12 write-in votes in opposition to Hicks.

Hicks mentioned three main priorities on the Town of Granville’s “to-do list”: The North Granville water district project, the extension of the Slate Valley Rail Trail from Middle Granville into Raceville and the transition of the town’s offices into the former Manchester Newspapers building.

“We’re trying to move the town forward and we’ve got some new projects going on,” Hicks said.

Speaking on continuity of the Granville Town Board, as the board members have not changed in more than 10 years, Hicks said it’s great to maintain working towards completing goals and interpreting guidance and direction with reelected board members Tom Cosey and Ken Quick  as well as Jim Bradt and Matt Rathbun.

“It’s a good thing for now, but change is a good thing as well. Things need to evolve,” he said.

Speaking personally, Hicks said he’s facing a looming decision within the next year whether he will seek a seventh full term in 2023.

“It will be a matter of what gets accomplished,” Hicks said. “A year from now, yeah, I’ll have to consider if I want to keep going or not.”

Cosey touched on being reelected for a fourth term after 12 years of public service at the end of the year.

“I was looking through the records at the County Board of Elections and I looked at my first election in 2009, and I thought it was interesting,” Cosey said.

Cosey received 478 votes while Quick, who could not be contacted by press time, received 432 votes in the five voting districts. There were 11 write-in votes.

Cosey added the last time he ran opposed was 2009, his first race, and the same goes for his fellow colleagues on the board.

“There’s a lot of advantages when you have a board working for the betterment of the town. We’re able to look at the issues and try to do the best we can to solve the problems we face every day,” Cosey said. “The big problem that we still face is the North Granville water district… we’re looking to get as much assistance as we can.”

Going into the next four years of his term, Cosey cited growth of population and businesses as a target for him, personally.

“As a town, we have to think about different ways of attracting businesses and more people to our town,” Cosey said. “We want to make sure Granville has a future. If you don’t grow, you start declining in population and that makes things more difficult.”

In Whitehall, town board incumbents David Hollister received 312 votes out of the three voting districts in the town and Timothy C. Kingsley received 308 votes with one write-in vote against the two.

Town Justice Robert J. Putorti Jr. received 327 votes with one write-in vote in opposition.

Washington County District Attorney Tony Jordan received 7,323 votes, with 60 write-in votes against him.

Five amendments were proposed and featured on the back of each ballot in New York State.

Unofficially, the proposal of an individual’s “Right to Clean Air, Clean Water and a Healthful Environment” (proposal #2) was the only one to be approved by a significant margin.

Proposals that are currently observed to be rejected are “Amending and Reappointing the Redistricting Process” (proposal #1), “Eliminating 10-Day Voter Registration Requirement” (Proposal #3), “Authorizing No-Excuse Absentee Ballot Voting” (Proposal #4) and “Increasing the Jurisdiction of the New York City Civil Court” (Proposal #5).