With the endorsement of the the Conservative Party, Bethlehem Independence Councilman Sam Messina has received his first ballot line in his race for supervisor against incumbent Democrat Jack Cunningham.
The Conservative Party has also endorsed Bethlehem Independence Party Chairman Mark Jordan for Bethlehem town councilman, Nanci Moquin for town clerk and Gregg Sagendorf for highway superintendent.
The party's Albany County chairman, Richard Stack, said he chose Messina because of his track record of independent voting, describing him as a diamond in the rough.
"We felt his independence and his ability to speak out for the common person far exceeded the incumbent, Jack Cunningham," Stack told The Spotlight after the vote on Thursday, May 14.
Cunningham, who has the endorsement of the town's Democratic Party and is a former Albany County legislator, said his tenure speaks for itself.
"I'm running on my record," he said. "I've been the supervisor for over two years, and I'm hoping the residents will continue to support me."
The number of ballot lines doesn't matter to Cunningham " he said he's ready for the fall elections no matter what.
"I will continue to run on my record," he concluded. "I've gotten some very positive feedback from residents about my campaign so far."
Messina said he was pleased to receive the endorsement.
"I feel great about it. I've reached out to all the parties and am pleased to get their support," he said. "Some folks have labeled me as someone who can't compromise, but for the past 45 years that simply hasn't been the case."
Messina said he is seeking "broad-based support to deliver broad-based leadership."
"I am pleased to have [the Conservative] endorsement and am continuing to seek other endorsements," he said.
Messina has met with the town's Republican Committee, who will be announcing a slate by month's end. He said he doesn't expect support from the Democratic party after the town's party dropped him in his interview for re-election to Town Board.