After losing GOP primary, several candidates press onward to general election in November

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 September 2017 at 2:25 pm

They may have lost last week’s Republican primary, but several candidates are pressing onward, optimistic they have a good chance for winning the Nov. 7 election.

They see several recent examples of candidates who lost the GOP primary, only to emerge as election day victors.

Joe Sidonio, candidate for Murray town supervisor

Jim Simon, the Yates town supervisor, was defeated two years ago in the Republican primary for town supervisor. He didn’t give up and mounted a write-in campaign and pulled off a stunning victory, 393 to 379, over incumbent John Belson. (Belson has since been elected as Lyndonville mayor.)

Other write-in candidates have also recently been elected. Susan Hrovat was elected last May to the Lyndonville Board of Education after getting 132 votes.

In March 2014, two write-in candidates mounted a campaign and beat the incumbent trustees for the Village Board. Marguerite Sherman received 229 votes and Michael Sidari, 207. That topped David Barhite, 175, and Patricia Crowley, 171, whose names were on the ballot.

David Krull, the Carlton highway superintendent, lost the Republican primary four years ago to Paul Snook. Krull stayed in the race under the Independence Party line and won the general election, 434-421.

Krull finds himself in a similar position after last week’s GOP primary. He lost, 187 to 165, to Kurt VanWycke. But Krull is still in the race, running under the Independence and Conservative lines on Nov. 7. He vowed to not give up on the election.

Other candidates who lost in the primary also are staying in the race.

Joe Sidonio was leading in the Republican Primary for Murray town supervisor after the votes were counted on Sept. 12. But Bob Miller went ahead after the absentee ballots were counted on Monday, winning 274-267.

Sidonio has the backing of the Conservative and Independence parties.

“We may have fallen short by only 7 votes on the Republican Primary but it is obvious that the GOP voters are sending a message for change. It’s time,” Sidonio posted on Facebook on Sept. 18. “We are continuing on to November. Our campaign began with the premise that every person in Murray has a voice that deserves to be heard with the same level of mutual respect.”

Carol Culhane, the incumbent Gaines town supervisor, was defeated in the primary by Joe Grube. Culhane is pushing on to November, running under the Conservative Party and the independent “All Gaines Party.” Councilwoman Susan Smith and Town Clerk candidate Debbie Mitchell also have the backing of the Conservative Party and the “All Gaines Party.”

Culhane said on Facebook she is working on a town budget while also staying in the race for town supervisor.

“My job is simple – be a ‘watch dog’ on your dollars,” she posted on Facebook. “Make sure we get the best bang for the buck and make sure we are careful how we use it.”

Robin Nacca, candidate for Barre town supervisor

In another town supervisor primary, Robin Nacca said she isn’t giving up in Barre. She lost to Sean Pogue, 141 to 87. But Nacca has the Conservative line and the independent “United Tax Payer.”

“While I congratulate Mr. Pogue on his victory, I want to remind all Barre residents that I will be on the ballot in November on the Conservative line and the United Tax Payer (independent) line,” she wrote on her website. “This will give Barre voters of all political parties and those who are not affiliated with any party the opportunity to express their preference.”

In Ridgeway, Karen Kaiser won the primary over Tara White, 203 to 166. White is continuing to the general election with the independent, “Tara White for the People.”

The primary losses last week appear to be the end for some of the candidates this election season, including Wendi Pencille for Shelby town supervisor and Geraldine Zinkievich for Shelby Town Board; and Howard Pierce for Yates Town Board.

They don’t have any political party lines in the general election. They could, however, mount a write-in campaign.

(Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article stated that Michael Whalen, a Republican candidate for Murray Town Board, didn’t have a political party backing after losing the primary last week. Whalen has been endorsed by the Conservative Party and will be on the Nov. 7 ballot.)

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