Rotterdam GOP doesn't endorse board incumbent

John Mertz, Rotterdam Town Board member, and Mike O'Connor will take part in the Republican primary for seats on the Rotterdam Town Board on the GOP ticket, however the Rotterdam GOP Committee hasn't endorsed either one.

Rotterdam GOP Chairman Gerard Parisi said the committee declined to endorse Mertz based on his inability to cooperate with several departments the police department, the highway department, etc." Parisi also cited what he called Mertz's "difficult personality."

"He was the head of the police commission while he was a board member, which was a complete disaster primarily due to the way he handled it and the way he was dealing with the police " making it into a political thing."

In a 50-0 vote, members of the committee chose instead to endorse Joe Suhrada, Joe Signore and Stan Marchinkowski.

Signore and Marchinkowski are current town board members who will be running for re-election. Joe Suhrada is currently serving as a Schenectady County legislator but decided earlier this year to run this year to pursue a position on the Town Board.

"Due to his [Mertz's] past performance as a committee member, we decided to endorse three hardworking, cooperative, proven board members," said Parisi of the committee's selection.

Mertz and O'Connor, who will be running for his first political position, said that despite the political fallout, the two pledge to support each other and run a "clean campaign."

"All too often candidates for office engage in dirty politics full of mud slinging and blatant distortion of their opponent's record," said Mertz in a written statement. "Today I am vowing to take no part in this type of deception. People are sick of it."

Mertz was originally elected to the board for a one-year term, and then again for a four-year term in 2005.

He said that there was a falling out within the party last year over some "budgetary matters" involving numerous cuts that he was proposing that Parisi "apparently didn't agree with."

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