Calling the winners of New Scotland races requires no political prowess this year, because the election has effectively been over for weeks.
The New Scotland Republican Committee offered no candidates for town offices this year, allowing Democrats to cruise to the finish line with no opponents to spar. Any voter who is disillusioned with incumbents or with how the town has been governed will likely have to wait another two years.
“Right now, the Republican Party to an extent is regrouping,” said Glenn Schultz, a town Republican Committee member.
Schultz previously said in a letter to The Spotlight that the party felt it would better serve the community by not running candidates, and instead “promote ideas to improve our town and present real solutions” to problems facing the town.
Albany County Republican Committee Chairwoman Rachel Bledi said there were three factors leading to the empty slate: there was a late start getting potential candidates interested; the county committee is going through a transitional phase with her assuming leadership in January; and town committee Chairman Tim Danz had his priorities shift because he was getting married.
“At this point they (the town committee) are in the rebuilding stages and are gearing up for the next election cycle,” Bledi said. “We are in the process of rebuilding and I can guarantee the Democrats will not be getting a free ride.”
Danz could not be reached for comment.
Fellow town committee member Roselyn Robinson said Danz stepped up to lead the committee primarily because no one else was interested. She said he has been busy with his family business, along with getting married.
“I think he will not be chairman for long, not because we don’t want him … but because he is not committing as much time,” Robinson said. “That might be the next step, somebody else to lead the helm. It is hard when you don’t have the time.”
Robinson was optimistic about the future of the town party, though, because several months ago the committee held a public meeting to attract new members and around 50 people turned out.
She said the meeting did yield some potential candidates, but nobody wanted to step up this election cycle. The committee also wanted to get to know the new faces better, too.
“We decided as a committee, rather than throw a name up there, we really wanted to concentrate on the new people and bring them up to speed on the town,” Robinson said. “It is disappointing. I believe in a two-party system … but it just wasn’t meant to be and this is the first time ever I think it happened.”
Bledi said while there are no Republican candidates for town offices this election cycle, there are still county races in which party members can show their support.
Robinson commended town Democrats for running an effective campaign in the last election cycle, which allowed the party to hold all seats on the Town Board. She said Republicans would focus on more effectively sharing their message and using social media next time around.
“You need more than one vision on the Town Board,” Robinson said, “but they won, and to the victor goes the spoils.”