Guilderland Supervisor and Democrat Ken Runion will once again seek his leadership position, with fellow Town Board incumbents likely to join him on the party’s ballot lines.
The Guilderland Democratic Committee will nominate its candidates for town elections during a caucus in August, but Runion said he is unaware of any challenger for his job within the party.
Runion also confirmed Democratic Town Board incumbents Patricia Slavik and Paul Pastore are seeking reelection. Democratic Receiver of Taxes Jean Cataldo will seek the office of town clerk, with Democrat Lynne Buchanan seeking receiver of taxes, he continued. Democratic Town Justice Denise Randall will seek reelection, and Town Attorney Richard Sherwood will seek a newly created town justice seat.
The county’s Independence and Conservative committees have endorsed all of the Democratic hopefuls, according to Runion.
Runion, who had not made a public announcement of his intentions, said he still has projects and issues he’d like to see completed and addressed.
“It is a job that I have been doing for some time and I enjoy being town supervisor. I think I have accomplished a number of things in the past 14 years,” Runion said. “There are other things I’d like to do over the next couple of years.”
Some of the issues Runion said he wants to address are sidewalks being installed in Guilderland Center, solving drainage problems in the hamlet of McKownville and installing new playground equipment at Tawasentha Park.
Runion believes he has a “good record” and hopes “voters feel the same way.” His intentions are to run on his record and “keep things very positive.” He touted endorsements from the Independence and Conservative committees as proof of his solid record.
“We have always had a coalition with the Democratic Party and the other parties as well, and I’ve run with the Conservative and Independence endorsements since first elected in 2000,” Runion said. “I think that reflects on the fact that those committees feel that we have a good record and have done a good job of managing the town.”
He said managing the financial affairs of the town is important to him and the economy has been starting to improve. Town revenues have also been on the upswing. Runion pointed the state comptroller’s recent report finding no fiscal stress in the town. He partially credited this to the town’s fund balance increasing and remaining strong.
“We haven’t had to use our financial reserves to meet our day-to-day operations,” he said. “We have adopted very conservative budgets and we have met all our obligations.”
Runion will be facing Republican Mark Grimm, who has previously clashed with Runion as a Town Board member. Runion said he doesn’t see any reason why the campaign should be negative, though.
Grimm said Runion “creates a sharp contrast between someone who has raised taxes frequently and someone who has fought against tax hikes.” He asked residents to look at their tax bills from when Runion took office in 2000 to now.
Grimm also scoffed at Runion receiving Independence and Conservative endorsements, claiming it to be an “inside deal.” When Grimm was previously elected to the Town Board in 2007 he said he didn’t receive those endorsements.
“The fact that I am not an insider is one the things that people like about me,” Grimm said.
Grimm also said “many people feel 14 years is long enough” and are ready for a change in leadership.
Runion said residents have had the opportunity to vote him out of office every two years, but have chosen to keep him instead.