continued Clyne mentioned Clarkson's support of a 20/20 Committee recommendation to make three town offices appointed instead of elected as a key point of dissension between party leaders and the candidate.
Clarkson built his campaign largely on the fact Kotary had secured endorsements from both major parties, saying this denied voters a choice. On Tuesday night, he said when going door to door voters ended up being more interested in matters like the town's finances and governance.
“I don't think it's fair at all to say I'm a one-issue candidate,” he said.
Clarkson also was successful on the Conservative line, which was open as an opportunity to ballot write in. According to Albany County Conservative Party Chairman Richard Stack, Clarkson's name was written in 68 times to Kotary's 18, with 12 absentee ballots out.
The matter proved to be divisive for the Conservative Party, with Stack supporting Clarkson and Bethlehem Conservative Party Chairman Ben Conboy backing Kotary.
“The message by Mr. Conboy and Mr. Kotary was soundly rejected,” Stack said. “I'm very pleased with that. My members responded to the issues.”
Bethlehem's results were reported far behind those for the rest of the county on Tuesday night, with final numbers not landing until nearly midnight, long after most other municipalities had been fully reported.
Clyne attributed the delay to election workers from some districts failing to bring the memory card used by the electronic voting machines to collection points. They instead left them at the polling places with other materials, locked up and left for the night. Sheriff's Deputies had to go out with Board of Elections representatives and retrieve the data, Clyne said.
“They didn't follow the instructions that were given to them,” Clyne said.