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UPDATED: Guilderland GOP bids fall short

Democrats sweep town races, Runion reelected to eighth term as supervisor

Mark Grimm, Republican candidate for Guilderland town supervisor, speaks to fellow town GOP members and supporters on Tuesday, Nov. 5, after unofficial election results reveal he failed to defeat longtime Democrat incumbent Ken Runion.

Mark Grimm, Republican candidate for Guilderland town supervisor, speaks to fellow town GOP members and supporters on Tuesday, Nov. 5, after unofficial election results reveal he failed to defeat longtime Democrat incumbent Ken Runion. Photo by John Purcell.

— Guilderland Republicans presented a full slate of candidates for the first time in a decade, but failed to pick up any seats against Democrat incumbents and newcomers.

Town Supervisor Ken Runion defeated Republican challenger Mark Grimm and secured his eighth two-year term. Runion received 4,855 votes, or 53 percent, with Grimm garnering 46 percent of votes and trailing by around 580 votes, according to unofficial election results.

Runion said he was pleased voters reelected him and he’s looking forward to continue working for the town.

“I have a good record, and as we were going door to door everyone seemed to be very happy with the town, they were very happy with the services we provide, and how the town had been managed over the last 14 years,” Runion said.

Grimm’s bid marked his return to politics after not seeking a second four-year term on the Town Board. Grimm had often clashed with Democratic board members and Runion.

Grimm said he knocked on 9,200 doors and received “a ton of support,” but he was not sure why he fell short on Election Day.

“I really don’t have an explanation for it,” Grimm said. “We are going to have to study the numbers and see what happened.”

Grimm did point to voter turnout as a possible reason for falling short.

“I think there is a difference between how people feel and how many people vote,” Grimm said. “There is an issue with turnout tonight … maybe it was a series of last-minute negative attacks that in many cases I wasn’t even aware that may have depressed the vote for me and for my team.”

Runion said town Democrats sent out last-minute “responses” to residents on Republican campaign literature that arrived at some homes the weekend before Election Day.

“I believe they felt there would be no response,” Runion said. “It contained misinformation about me and about the town, but we obtained those letters on Saturday and framed responses to two of the three letters. … Our letters were not negative; our letters were responsive.”

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