NISKAYUNA: Landry, Kasper look ahead

Local Democrats are riding high in the wake of a string of electoral victories that has swept them into every town office. Leading the ticket is Joe Landry, a former state Assembly staff member who had run for public office only once before.

We knew what we had to do to win, Landry said of his win of the town supervisor seat over Republican opponent J. Briggs McAndrews. "We took positions on the issues very early in the race, let everyone know where we stood and worked extremely hard."

"We also had people who know how to win elections on our team advising the campaign," said Landry. "They were very tough task masters, but they knew what needed to be done and they kept on top of things to make sure it was done."

Landry's election night lead of 3,139"to"2,979 over McAndrews was the closest margin of victory on Tuesday, Nov. 6. And while he expected to win, Landry admitted that his opponent, a longtime superintendent of the Niskayuna school system, was the odds-on favorite throughout much of the campaign.

"We had a game plan for dealing with that, and we stuck with it throughout the campaign," Landry said. "And I want to thank the voters for their support."

The battle for two seats on the town board came easier for Democrats with incumbent Liz Orzel Kasper retaining her seat by a 531 vote margin and newcomer Julie McDonnell winning by 352 votes, according to unofficial results from the Schenectady County Board of Elections. The 65-year-old Kasper was very upbeat about the win.

"What a sweet victory," Kasper said. "Not only did I win with the largest margin, but I also did it without having the Conservative or Independence party lines, and that's one of the comments I heard the most from supporters on election night. It is often said that you need one of the largest party lines to win in the suburbs like Niskayuna, but I did it without them.

"To me that means the voters really were pulling that lever for me because they like me, they like what I've done in office and they like the positions I've taken on issues that are important to them," said Kasper. "I guess you could say it is a real vote of confidence.

"I'm very pleased we all won and that the public showed as much support as they did," she said. "I want to thank everyone for their support and look forward to starting another term in January." ""

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