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Dems sweep Bethlehem races

Supervisor-elect John Clarkson speaks to supporters at the Perfect Blend in Delmar after declaring victory Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Supervisor-elect John Clarkson speaks to supporters at the Perfect Blend in Delmar after declaring victory Tuesday, Nov. 8.

After claiming victory in a whirlwind primary, John Clarkson cruised to victory in the general election for supervisor in the town of Bethlehem.

According to numbers from the Albany County Board of Elections, Clarkson earned over 67 percent of the vote, totaling 5,987 ballots cast. Current town board member Kyle Kotary, who was defeated in a Democratic primary by Clarkson in September received 29 percent, or 2,611 votes. Working Families Party candidate Richard Reeves-Ellington received just under three percent of the votes for supervisor, or 252 votes.

Speaking to supporters at a Delmar coffee shop, Clarkson first thanked current Supervisor Sam Messina, saying without Messina and his wife, “this probably wouldn’t have happened.”

“The victory, in a real way, belongs to the voters of Bethlehem,” said Clarkson to a round of applause. “They said no to no choice, they said no to a mix of downright nasty politics.”

Clarkson widened the gap from the Democratic primary in which he defeated Kotary. The supervisor-elect also received nearly 1,200 votes on the Conservative line.

“We ran a good campaign,” said Clarkson. “People related to the message, which was simply about good professional government, sharing services, and modernizing government.”

Town Board

A four-way race for two seats on the Bethlehem Town Board turned out to be close, but in the end, Democrats Jeffrey Kuhn and Joann Dawson, the only incumbent in the race, secured enough votes to hold off Republican challengers Jeremy Martelle and Jeremy Near.

“My goal is to turn Bethlehem into a model of municipal efficiency and government,” said Kuhn. “If we implement some of the ideas we are talking about, we’re going to have a town government that the whole town can be immensely proud of.”

Kuhn earned 4,797 votes, or 29 percent, while Dawson came in second with 4,497, or 27 percent of the votes.

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