Republicans hold power: Millett back as town clerk

I t was a good night for the GOP in Whitehall.

Republican’s swept Tuesday’s elections and the results weren’t even close.

As polling officials counted the votes Tuesday night, it became clear that all five Republican candidates won win their respective races, including the once and future town clerk Julie Millett.

Millett, a Republican, overwhelmingly won the town clerk’s race with 445 votes and fellow Republicans Farrell Prefountaine and political newcomer Stephanie Safka won the two open town council seats.

Democrat and incumbent town clerk candidate Elaine Senecal Jones received 202 votes, but it wasn’t enough to defeat Millett who will serve as the town clerk for the first time since stepping down in 2010 to care for her ill mother in law.

Afterwards Millett expressed her satisfaction with the outcome.

“I’m happy but a little nervous,” she said.

Republicans George Armstrong and Louis Pratt were elected to the positions of town supervisor and highway superintendent, respectively.

Because each ran uncontested there was a friendly challenge to see who would receive the most votes, with Armstrong finishing narrowly ahead of Pratt by a single vote.

Armstrong received 575 votes while Pratt got 574 votes in his favor.

In a little bit of a surprise, Safka, who has no previous political experience, but has served on the Chamber of Commerce in both Kingsbury and Whitehall, as well as the Washington County Tourism Association and the Washington County Development Committee, rode a wave of support on her way to a seat on the town council.

Safka nearly led all town council candidates with 359 total votes, only three behind Farrell Prefountaine who finished with 362 votes.

Incumbent councilman Prefountaine, who has battled an illness that has prevented him from being an active member of the town council for the past several months, easily won his reelection bid.

Democrat and incumbent Jim Putorti received 255 votes while Robert Carswell, who entered the race late, finished with a total of 193 votes.

 The Republicans, who made a concerted effort to get their vote out, should form a unified team on the town council, joining fellow Republican David Hollister and Democrat Richard LaChapelle.

Their first order of business will be the same as the current administration: finding a permanent home for the town hall, whether that’s at the Skenesborough Fire House-which appears less likely now with the company choosing not to dissolve-or somewhere else, possibly the current site of LaFlamme’s, an idea that has been thrown out there as of late.

At the county level, Republican Ruth Scribner was reelected to the coroner’s position while fellow Whitehall resident and Democratic candidate Michael Putorti fell short in his first bid for the position.

Scribner finished with 4,887 votes while Putorti had 3,350 in his favor. Both candidates received the overwhelming support of the local community, finishing with more votes than their opponents among voters in Whitehall.

Whitehall also followed suit with the rest of the county, voicing their support for Albert Nolette in the County Treasurer’s race.

Nolette defeated Gayle Hall by a margin of 5,726 to 3,340. The discrepancy in votes was even greater in Whitehall with 380 voters in favor of Nolette as opposed to only 173 for Hall.

 

Republicans also had a successful day in Dresden, where they swept their way into office, and for good reason, every candidate ran unopposed.

 Robert Banks, the longest serving Supervisor in the history of the town, will return to his role leading the local government. He received 75 votes.

Joining Banks back on the town board will be councilmen Allen Wilbur and John Barber Jr.  who secured 71 and 87 votes, respectively

Town clerk and tax collector Marcinda Wilbur (88 votes), highway superintendent Richard Hobus (88 votes) and Justice Jack Eggleston (75 votes) all return to office as well.

 

The trend of successful Republican campaigns continued in Hampton where Tamme Taran and David Jenson easily defeated Utilitarian candidate Thomas Edwards.

Taran who served on the Granville School Board for more than 12 years and was appointed to serve on the town council in July after William Lawrence stepped down earlier this summer, secured a spot on the town council with 136 votes.

Jensen, who was running for office for the first time received 116 votes. Edwards, a retired county employee, finished with 31 votes.

 

 

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