Unofficial election results show Colonie's political landscape has shifted, much like its large Albany County suburban counter parts, Guilderland and Bethlehem, from longtime Republican strongholds to burgeoning Democratic districts.
The Albany County Board of Elections has tallied all of the town's 60 election districts. Those results show a clean Democrat sweep. If the more than 1,000 pending absentee ballots follow results at the booths Tuesday, Nov. 6, Republicans stand to lose three town board seats and the office of town supervisor, held by six-term incumbent Republican Mary E. Brizzell.
Leading the potential Democratic shift is candidate for supervisor Paula Mahan, who led Brizzell by 373 votes early Wednesday, Nov. 7. Those are the closest results so far among Democrats and Republicans in the town.
Among the six-way race for board seats are three Democrats, Nancy Hernandez, William Carl and Robert Becker, who so far have bested first-time Republican candidates Michael DeMartino and Andre Claridge. Ulderic Boisvert, the only incumbent board member to run this year, received the lowest vote count with 1,243 votes fewer than Hernandez, who topped the list. Hernandez received more votes than Brizzell.
If unofficial results hold, it will be the first time a Democrat will serve in Colonie in more than 80 years.
The returns were so encouraging. They clearly heard our message. They understood how hard we were working and what we were working for, said Mahan.
Democrats covered the town by foot leading up to the election, she said. Many homes were visited and the message was understood that people wanted a change. Not only did their votes reflect that at the town level but also at the county level.
So far, county Democrats are poised to control half of the town's eight legislative districts; two more have Republicans leading so far by as little as 70 votes.