The Town of Dresden has a new supervisor.
Democratic challenger George Gang has defeated longtime incumbent Bob Banks by a 140-122 margin.
Thomas Rogers, deputy commissioner for the Washington County Board of Supervisors, said the results remain unofficial until they certified by the state next month.
Both candidates were informed of the results on Tuesday.
“Four months ago I never expected this to happen,” Gang said. “I’m ecstatic.”
Gang held a slim 111 to 106 lead over Banks last Tuesday but those numbers did not include several dozen absentee ballots. On Tuesday, officials counted those ballots and Gang garnered an additional 29 votes while Banks picked up another 16 votes.
Gang attributed the win to people’s desire for change.
“I think people wanted something new, that’s my gut feeling,” he said.
Banks is the longest tenured supervisor in the history of Dresden, having served in the role for the past 20 years.
The race was the first time Banks has been challenged in the general election since 2007, when he defeated Dresden United candidate Bernadette Perrone (Arthur Borin and Stiling Knight combined for a total of five votes as write-in candidates in 2011, but neither were officially on the ballot).
He was defeated in 2003 but regained the post two years later.
But the last two years have been difficult for Banks. In 2011 he struck a house near the intersection of Saunders and North Williams Streets. He was arrested under suspicion of driving while intoxicated but was exonerated after blood tests revealed there was no alcohol in his blood stream.
Earlier this year the state comptroller’s office was critical of Banks saying the town’s financial records were incomplete.
Banks said at the time of the audit he was hospitalized and unable to provide all the records when the state asked, but did eventually submit everything requested to the comptroller.
During his time as supervisor, Banks played a key role in financing sewer district one, kept taxes increases under control and was instrumental in the passage of a law banning the transport of invasive species in Washington County.
“I think I’ve accomplished a lot,” Banks said Tuesday. George ran a good clean campaign, as did I, but it’s time for someone else.”
Gang has previously run for town council and justice, but has never held elected office in Dresden.
“It’s going to be a very big learning experience. I need to sit down and learn more about how the budget works,” Gang said.
He said he doesn’t have specific plans but would like to open up communication between the town and its residents.
He said he spoke with Banks Tuesday morning and described the supervisor as very gracious.
“We intend to sit down next month and go over some things,” he said.
Gang will take office after the New Year.