UPDATED: Bethlehem GOP backs Messina for supervisor

Bethlehem Republicans say they are backing Councilman Sam Messina to take on incumbent Democrat Jack Cunningham for the town's top spot.

I am pleased to get the Republican endorsement for supervisor, Messina said. "It's important because it is a major line, but it's also important to me because the Republican interview team asked important and probing questions."

Concluding, he said, "I told them I would represent them and that I would do the best I could to represent all of the people in the Town of Bethlehem."

This gives Messina his third ballot line and first major party line against Cunningham, who recently got endorsed by Messina's own party. Messina said he will primary Cunningham for the Independence Party line, which would give him four lines to Cunningham's single Democratic ticket line. If Cunningham wins, it would give him two party lines to Messina's three.

Messina's other two ballot lines come courtesy of the Albany County Conservative Party and the Working Families Party of the Capital District.

Both supervisor candidates say they are confident they will win the Independence Party primary in September.

Bethlehem Republican Chairwoman Melody Burns said the full committee voted to endorse Messina on Monday, June 8, as well as Melanie Calzone for town clerk. The party has also endorsed incumbent Republican Gregg Sagendorf for highway superintendent.

Calzone, a political newcomer, will face Democrat Nanci Moquin who is currently the administrative assistant to the town's planning and zoning boards. However, Calzone reportedly has the endorsement of current long-time Republican Town Clerk Kathleen Newkirk.

Sagendorf, also a Republican, seemingly has support across the board with cross endorsements from the Democrat, Independence and Conservative parties.

Burns said the committee would vote on candidates for the two open Town Board seats by this Friday, June 12, effectively putting together a full slate for the November elections.

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