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Bethlehem GOP picks full slate, town races officially begin

The Bethlehem Republican Committee put together the final pieces of its slate for Town Board when it tapped committee member John Flanagan of Selkirk and Fernando (Fred) Di Maggio to run for the two open seats on the board.

The committee announced last week that it was supporting Independence Party Councilman Sam Messina to run against incumbent Democrat Jack Cunningham for supervisor after Messina's own party backed Cunningham in the race.

Republican Chairwoman Melody Burns confirmed to The Spotlight today (Friday, June 18) that Flanagan and Dimaggio had the support of the town's committee and would join Messina on a ticket to face off Cunningham, incumbent Councilman Kyle Kotary and Bethlehem Independence Party Chairman Mark Jordan for Town Board.

This constitutes the last of the major political announcements in the fall races for town elections with the exception of possible candidates running on a newly created party line.

With political nominations designated and petition signature gathering underway, the 2009 political season has officially begun. The other open seats in the Town of Bethlehem include highway superintendent and town clerk.

Incumbent Republican Gregg Sagendorph is running for re-election for highway superintendent and has garnered the most lines with nominations from the Republican and Democratic parties as well as the Conservative and Independence parties.

He is running unopposed.

Jordon has the second most lines with one major endorsement from the Democrats and three minor party endorsements from the Conservative Party, his own Independence Party and the Working Families Party.

This is his first race for public office for Jordan, but he is no stranger to politics with recently being named the town's Independence chair after Assemblyman Tim Gordon, I-Bethlehem, stepped down from the post. Jordan is currently Gordon's chief of staff, whom is the state's only Independence Party Assembly member.

The other open seat is town clerk.

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