Rotterdam GOP endorsements voided

Court says notification of meeting invalid, but county GOP vote echoes town picks

The original Rotterdam Republican Committee's endorsements for the upcoming election were ruled invalid, but the Schenectady County GOP has voted to endorse a similar slate with two last-minute changes.

In late May, State Supreme Court Justice Vincent Reilly Jr. ruled in favor of former Rotterdam Town Board member Gerard Parisi's lawsuit against the Town Republican Committee endorsements for the 2011 election. The decision hinged on the committee not providing proper notice of the April 14 meeting. According to the committee's by-laws, a meeting to vote for endorsements requires each member to receive a mailed notice five days before the meeting.

While the letter notifying members of the meeting was post-marked April 9, Parisi did not receive the letter at his home address until April 11, which was only three days before the meeting.

I think that it is important to follow the rules and the by-laws. I misinterpreted the by-laws with the five-day rule, said Town GOP Committee Chairwoman Tracy Donovan.

Before Donovan received the court's decision, she had already mailed out letters on Thursday, May 26, announcing a new vote. The town GOP met Monday, June 6, prior to the county vote to forward the names for new candidates filling vacancies. Later that night, the county GOP officially endorsed the slate.

The town committee had voted to endorse Brian McGarry for supervisor, Chris Tomaselli and Aurelia Lazzari for Town Board, as well as incumbent Highway Superintendent James Longo and incumbent Town Justice Kevin Mercoglan. Lazzari recently withdrew her bid for personal reasons. Nicola DiLeva, a current Town Board member whom the town GOP supported for a seat on the County Legislature, also withdrew her bid. The town also endorsed Wade Abbot in his bid for County Legislature.

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