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Rand elected North Elba supervisor

Kilburn Politi, Cummings earn majority of votes Tuesday for council

November 7, 2019
By ELIZABETH IZZO - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Jay Rand appears to have clinched the North Elba town supervisor position, and candidates Emily Kilburn Politi and Richard Cummings appear to have secured seats on the town council.

From 10 candidates altogether, unofficial results from the Essex County Board of Elections show Rand secured 940 in-person votes on Tuesday, Nov. 5 and during the nine-day early voting period; Kilburn Politi, 1,094; and Cummings, 775.

A total of 145 absentee ballots were sent out to North Elba voters, according to the Essex County Board of Elections. That creates the possibility of Bob Rafferty, who garnered 699 votes, to secure a lead over Cummings, but not enough for supervisor candidate Derek Doty, who got 648 votes, to overtake Rand.

Article Photos

Poll worker Mary Shubert of Lake Placid hands an “I VOTED” sticker to Republican North Elba town supervisor candidate Jay Rand Tuesday morning, Nov. 5 at the North Elba Town Hall in Lake Placid.
(News photo — Elizabeth Izzo)

With a choice between two political newcomers and two veteran politicians, voters ultimately chose longtime town Councilman Rand to serve in the town's top slot. Independent town supervisor candidate Gary Kaltenbach got 318 votes, and Green Party candidate Fred Balzac, 56.

Rand will take over for Roby Politi, the town's supervisor for the last 12 years, come Jan. 1. It's a two-year term. Politi decided to step down this year and not seek reelection.

"I feel great," Rand said Tuesday evening. "I think it was a really respectable race and certainly kept all of us on our toes working hard.

"I really respected everything the other candidates did, and I thought it was it a good race. "I'm excited. I think I can do a really good job for the town, and I know I'll work hard and listen to people."

Doty, who came in second, congratulated Rand on his win.

"The people have spoken," Doty said. "Congratulations."

Rand also highlighted the council race.

"There's never been that many people that have run since I've been on," he said. "I'm looking forward to continuing to work with Derek (Doty). He's an excellent councilor. Emily and Richard Cummings will be a great asset as well. I look forward to absorbing all they have to offer and go forward as a team."

In all, six people ran for two, four-year seats on the town council. Republican town council candidate Doug Hoffman garnered 514 votes; Independence candidate Richard "Rik" Cassidy, 443; and independent candidate Jeremy Mihill, 134.

Doty still has two years left on his four-year term as town councilman.

Voters' footsteps echoed through the North Elba Town Hall, one of two polling stations for this town, like a steady drumbeat from the time the polls opened at 6 a.m. to when they closed at 9 p.m. Five minutes to polls closing, 14 people packed the entryway, some selling raffle tickets for a senior fundraiser, others carrying clipboards and representing political committees, while others were candidates themselves - Mihill chatted with friends as he awaited his race's results. The atmosphere was jovial, people greeting one another as they came and went out the front door.

The scene was similar shortly after the polls closed at 9 p.m. at the North Elba Town House in Saranac Lake, where voters in districts 2 and 7 cast their ballots for sections of the town in the village of Saranac Lake and hamlet of Ray Brook. A small gathering of people - including Doty and Cassidy - waited for the results to be posted.

Town Clerk Laurie Dudley, a Republican, ran unopposed and secured another term with 1,305 votes. Deputy Highway Superintendent Kenneth Porter, a Republican, also ran unopposed, garnering 1,287 votes, and will be sworn in as the town's highway superintendent. Incumbent Larry Straight, decided not to run again.

Cummings was not available for comment Tuesday night. Kilburn Politi thanked her supporters.

"I'm thrilled and honored and humbled to have won, and I'm excited to get to work in the beginning of January and do all my work on the housing committee before I get there," she said. "I'm so thankful to everyone that voted for me and I look forward to working with the board moving forward."



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