Cunningham gets Dem nod, primary brews

Reform Dem member means to square off against former supervisor

— “I feel I will be part of a team that will be moving the town forward and I want to be part of that team. Both the Reform Democrats and John (Clarkson) have a vision for where they want the town to go and I buy into that objective,” Reinhardt said.

Reinhardt is a graduate of Cornell, Rutgers and the University of Pennsylvania. He worked for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for 26 years helping develop renewable energy technologies before retiring in 2010.

Cunningham has 32 years of finance, operations and IT experience through his work in the private sector and his time as town supervisor and on the Albany County Legislature. He is currently the public works commissioner for the Town of Colonie. His appointment there spurred considerable debate about the residency requirements of town officials.

Bethlehem Democratic Committee Chairman Matt Clyne said he doesn’t understand why residents were upset over his appointment to the position in a different town.

“Most residents work outside Bethlehem,” he said. “Right now I’m sitting in the City of Albany; I have almost all of my career. … I don’t know how that would impact his campaign or disqualify him from the election. Most people wouldn’t be able to run for Town Board if that was the case and I feel the experience he has gotten there will be an asset to us.”

Clyne said Cunningham has had to deal with complex issues in Colonie, like the new landfill contract.

“He has the full support of the Democratic Committee and his candidacy was well received by its members,” Clyne said. “We also feel he is genuinely interested in his work and loves this town. He has a strong commitment and its reflected in his activities and behavior.”

Candidates began walking petitions on Tuesday, June 5. They are due between July 9 and 12, with the primary to be help September 13. The winner is likely to face Republican Jeremy Martell in November’s general election to win the remaining year of the Town Board seat term.

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