Final gap 22 in supervisor race
Democratic incumbent Rodger Hurley’s lead held up Tuesday morning and what was a 15-vote edge on Nov. 3 became a 22-vote margin of victory following the counting of 71 absentee ballots Nov. 10.
More than two hours after it began, the process of counting absentee ballots yielded a winner in the supervisor’s race. The count was 723-701, with Hurley taking 50.77 percent of the 1,424 votes cast.
The office of the Washington County Board of Elections was filled to capacity as interested parties gathered around a desk that became the center of the political universe for Granville for a few hours.
After the win Hurley said he was gratified to be asked to serve again, even by such a narrow margin.
“I’m deeply gratified to the people of Granville that I’ve had the opportunity for the last two years to represent them. In my service over the last two years I did everything I absolutely could do. And in this political campaign, there was nothing left. I went door-to-door, approximately 1,500 homes, so there’s nothing left – and of course personally I’m deeply gratified and appreciative to everybody in the community to be a part of this process, that includes the people who voted for my opponent,” Hurley said.
“It was a close race. It was a good race; Rodger played fair,” Republican candidate Mary Emery said immediately afterward.
Seated next to each other at the table where the ballots were counted, one by one, right in front of the candidates, the two exchanged a brief handshake when the results were announced before heading in separate directions out of the building.
“There is substantial distress across Washington County and Granville, New York, with respect to employment and respect to job and property taxes that people have huge difficulties paying so no, I’m not surprised,” Hurley said when asked if the close outcome was expected.
“It was good that it came so close. I just hope he does good in his next term,” Emery said. Emery said her immediate reaction was relief after a long week of waiting in what proved to be the toughest part of the campaign. “I’m glad it’s over finally. It was a long week,” Emery said.
Emery spent 11 years as the town clerk in Granville before being elected to a four-year term on the board. What’s next for Emery? “I’m just going to sit back and do nothing and see what goes on,” she said.
Asked if it was her last political campaign, she said she was not certain. “I don’t know. I thought it was going to be but I’m not sure now,” she said.
“I may be back,” Emery said.
Hurley was the first Democrat to hold the supervisor position since the late Roy Esiason held the job from 1991 to 1993 prior to the terms of John Cosey 16 years ago. Cosey was then elected to seven consecutive terms ending with a loss to Hurley in 2007. Hurley is now the first Democratic supervisor to be re-elected in Granville.
As the votes were tallied and election night came to a close on Nov. 3, it was clear there would be no winner in the supervisor race, at least not at that point. Hurley held the slim margin of 15 votes over Emery, 681 to 666. That number would change Nov. 6 as Emery gained five votes by the evening to cut the margin to 10 votes.
However, as many as 103 Granville residents had not had their say with absentee votes distributed, but not yet accounted for. Board of Elections Republican Donna English said 71 had been returned by election night but any ballots postmarked by the Nov. 2 deadline would be counted.
Neither candidate was prepared to claim victory in the supervisor race election night. Conventional wisdom holds that absentee ballots tend to conform to the patterns of the rest of the voters and this was clearly the case once again.
Republicans had already locked up the two open seats on the town board with Tom Cosey (766) and Ken Quick (783) well out in front of the lone Democrat, Linda Ellingsworth (443). Running unopposed, incumbent Republican Town Justice Donald Parker garnered 779 votes.