The Malta Republican Committee has endorsed incumbent Donna Gizzi and challenger Tara Thomas as the Republican candidates for the two town council seats up for grabs this fall. Incumbent Cliff Lange, who has served on the town board since 1984, did not receive an endorsement. The votes were close. Thomas earned 1,013 votes; Gizzi earned 974 votes, and Lange 965.
It wasn't who was qualified, said Lange of the committee voting process. "It was a personality thing."
He added that the Republican Committee members were representing themselves in this vote rather than the Republicans of Malta. Lange said he would be taking some time to review the options available to him and decide within the next few weeks about his future in Malta politics.
The candidates, all Republican Committee members, interviewed with the entire Republican Committee on Sunday, April 22, prior to the vote. Malta Republican Committee chairman Bill Smith said the voting process differed from past years in that the committee agreed to follow Saratoga County's suggestion of using a weighted voting system.
"The county has been after us for years to use it," said Smith.
He said the weighted vote is calculated by the Saratoga County Board of Elections and is based on the most recent gubernatorial election. Each district is then given a number as it applies to the town, he said. The town of Malta is broken up into 12 districts, with two committee people assigned to each district. Each committee person gets one half of the number of votes assigned to the district he or she is elected to represent. Smith said the old system allowed one vote for each committee person.
"If that's what the county wants, I have no problem with it," said Lange of the voting changes. "It is something we have to get used to."