The Guilderland Republican Party has a new chairman at the helm eager to guide the GOP to victory in the 2009 town elections.
Businessman Ted Danz, 60, was elected chairman of the party at its Jan. 30 meeting.
Danz's prior political experience includes a failed bid for an Albany County Legislature seat in 2007. In a tight race, Danz lost by roughly 150 votes to Democrat William Aylward Jr.
Danz succeeds interim GOP chairwoman Barbara Davis who most recently held the position.
The Altamont resident of 12 years, owns and operates Family Danz Heating and Air Conditioning based in Albany. Danz said he believes he can bring a solid business background to the party and his first order of business is boosting the committee's numbers. I want to bring in some new blood, new members, and get some energy going, he said. The Republican committee is currently comprised of roughly 15 members, according to Danz. He said he would like to see that number increase to 65.
Long-term goals for the party include securing candidates to run for two town board seats and the supervisor's post available in 2009. Supervisor Kenneth Runion, a Democrat, has run unopposed in the last two elections.
"I feel we can do a great job and I'm looking for candidates who are the right people to put in those positions," said Danz. He is optimistic the tide is turning for Guilderland's Democratic stronghold following the election of Republican Councilmen Mark Grimm and Warren Redlich in November. Prior to that election, Democrats held all of the board seats.
"I think it says the people realize that's not a balanced government, and they want a good balance," said Danz. "It gives a better sense of fairness and it represents the people better."
The party will also focus on pushing registered Guilderland Republicans to the polls, citing low voter turnout in last year's election. In the town of Guilderland there are 8,249 registered Democrats, slightly fewer registered Republicans at 6,728 and 5,632 Independents.
The town's Democratic Party remains skeptical a new Republican chairperson will prompt a resurgence of the GOP. "I understand this is the fourth chairperson in less than a year so their reorganization tends to be a work in progress," said Guilderland Democratic Party Chairperson David Bosworth. "I think resurgence (of the town Republican Party) is an enthusiastic term," he added, "but I wish them well.""