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NISKAYUNA: Dems sweep town seats

Area Democrats had a good day on Tuesday as Niskayuna voters swept their ticket into office with a string of local victories. The closest race came in the battle for town supervisor with Joe Landry, a local lawyer and former state Assembly staffer, claiming a narrow 160-vote lead over former school superintendent J. Briggs McAndrews.

In other results, incumbent Liz Orzel Kasper and Julie McDonnell, both Democrats, garnered town board wins by landslide margins over Republicans Mark Stuart and Scott Stevens.

The hard-fought battle for town justice ended with Stephen Swinton, a Democrat, beating Republican Lou Chicatelli by an unofficial tally of 3,265to2,725.

"I feel very good about the results," Swinton said on Tuesday night. "We've been working on this campaign since May, and I really appreciate the support everyone has shown."

The results mean that Democrats will remain in control of all five seats on the town board when the new administration is sworn in next year, despite two members of the board, Bill Chapman and Luke Smith, the current supervisor, deciding not to run for re-election. Smith is retiring and Chapman unsuccessfully sought a seat on the Schenectady County Legislature.

Looking over the initial results, Republican town chairman Michael Mansion focused on the positive for his party and pointed to the strong showing for McAndrews.

"Our numbers are showing Briggs down by just 160 votes," Mansion said on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at about 11 p.m. "We have 3,139 for Landry and 2,979 for Briggs. That's really close, and it doesn't include any of the absentee or paper ballots.

"For us, this is too close to call, and we want to make sure that all the votes are counted," said Mansion.

The Democratic sweep comes as the town is grappling with several controversial issues, including the fate of the Ingersoll Home for the Aged. A nearly 200-year-old historic site, the Ingersoll home has long been used as a nursing home and the site is now being eyed for a proposed multi-million dollar shopping mall.

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