COLONIE — Town political party committees are looking for candidates to run for a number of offices this fall.
Democrat Supervisor Paula Mahan and three of the six Town Board seats — held by Democrats Melissa Jeffers, Linda Murphy and David Green — are up for grabs. In 2019, voters elected two Republicans to the board, Rick Field and Danielle Futia, and one Democrat, Jill Penn.
There is not a ward or district system in Colonie and all candidates run at large. The four-year, part time position pays $21,479 per year with the deputy supervisor, a position picked by the board, paying $21,918.
The announcement, distributed by newly elected town Democratic Party Chairman Ryan Horstmyer, did not include a solicitation for supervisor. Mahan is in her seventh two-year term and the last time she was asked about her plans she said she was focused more on navigating the town through the pandemic than politics.
In 2019, she narrowly defeated Republican George Scaringe, the former town and county GOP chair, by a little more than 100 votes.
If she chooses to run again, the party will be hard pressed to deny her the opportunity. Her win over entrenched incumbent Republican Mary Brizzell in 2007 is a big reason Democrats have controlled town government for more than a decade. She also beat back spirited challenges by formidable opponents including Scaringe and Frank Mauriello, Michael Hoblock, Christine Benedict and Denise Sheehan.
The two-year position pays $123,006 a year.
The Republicans have not floated anyone to run for the spot but possibilities include Judge Peter Crummey, Mauriello, who is currently the minority leader on the Albany County Legislator, Scringe taking another shot and Jennifer Whalen, who was on the Town Board before giving that up to win a seat on the county Legislature.
Should Mahan not run, some possibilities for the Democrats include Town Board members Melissa Jeffers, Jill Penn and David Green.
Julie Gansle won a hard fought battle against Legislator Allison McClean Lane in 2017 to replace the retiring Elizabeth DelTorto and coasted to a second term without an opponent two years later.
Gansle’s name is solid through Albany and it has been bantered about as a potential candidate for supervisor but she would have to give up a pretty good job and clerk’s tend to stay put for a while. Republican DelTorto lasted 20 years, even after the Democrats took over, and was active in party politics. Gansle, like DelTorto, seems to get along with the “other party” and nothing is heard from the clerk’s office which means it is running well.
The two-year position pays $91,317.
Receiver of Taxes
Republican Michele Zilgme has held the spot since 1996. She had an opponent in 2009 and 2013 but ran unopposed in 2017.
The four-year position pays $95,370.
Two spots on the town bench are up for grabs and they are currently held by Judge Andrew Sommers and Norman Massry, both Republicans.
Sommers was first appointed in 2005 and elected to a full four-year term a year later. Massry was elected to the bench in 2009.
Both judges ran unopposed in 2017.
Crummey, also a Republican, is the court’s senior judge, ran unopposed in 2019.
The four-year term pays $69,777.
“We want experienced candidates who understand the town, value hard work and listening, and have clear goals for continuing Colonie’s sound financial and management practices,” Horstmyer said.