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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Friday, September 28

Grand Old Party

Saratoga County Republicans will have a new leader steering the GOP boat after this weekend. With longtime GOP Chair John "Jasper" Nolan stepping down from the helm after this most recent primary race, the committee will elect his replacement this weekend.

The two men vying to fill the big shoes of the 27-year chairman are County Vice Chairman John Herrick of Saratoga Springs and former county Treasurer Chris Callaghan of Waterford.

In the end, I'm sure both men are happy they are taking the reigns after the contentious GOP primary that pitted the old guard against the voice of change and not before. Nolan was on the losing side of that primary, endorsing Roy McDonald for the duration of the election and standing by him on primary night watching the votes come in.

I didn't see Herrick or Callaghan at the McDonald camp primary night (maybe I missed them, but I don't think so), and I don't know if they were at the Kathy Marchione party, but both (I'm told) watched her claim victory at her headquarters Tuesday.

I spoke to Herrick Tuesday shortly after the victory speech, and while speaking to him Joe Kakaty, Marchione's finance chair, interjected to make a few points, one of which was an endorsement of Herrick as the chairman.

"I think he is very qualified to unify the party," he said.

I don't believe he was speaking on behalf of the campaign (I sent an e-mail to the campaign today to find out if they are endorsing anyone and never heard back), but on his own behalf.

It does speak, though, to the challenge ahead of whomever takes over the chairmanship. This primary put the GOP — a generally lock-step group — through hell, particularly in Saratoga County, where the two were seemingly best known and had the most friends/enemies.

In addition, the decision faux-endorsement early on of McDonald by Nolan and some of the Saratoga County GOP seemed to leave a bad taste in every Republican's mouth. Even the McDonald camp didn't seem all-together comfortable with it. 

 Regardless of the kind words exchanged between McDonald and Marchione after the fight was done (see yesterday's statements), they still drew a lot of blood and those scars don't always heal easy.

As Herrick said at the Marchione victory speech, "I definitely think the party will come together... some will come quicker than others."

Anyway, we'll see tomorrow who draws the short straw. 

Got this release today from the Wilton GOP Committee endorsing Herrick in the race:

Wilton Republican Committee Holds Reorganizational Meeting:
Re-Elects Kingsley Chairman, Endorses Herrick
(Wilton)  -  The Wilton Republican Committee held its re-organizational meeting for election of officers as required by Party by-laws on Tuesday, September 25, 2012.  
The Committee re-elected Scott Kingsley as Chairman and Elaine Gerber as Vice Chairman.  Also being elected were Christopher Ramsdill as Treasurer; Richard Duvall as Recording Secretary;Marilyn Monroe as Executive Secretary; and Gerard Zabala as Assistant Treasurer.
                The Committee also heard presentations and asked questions of the two declared candidates for Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Saratoga County Republican Committee.  After discussion, a straw vote was held on both positions.  In the Chairman’s  race, John Herrick received 86% of the weighted vote, Chris Callaghan 8% and Uncommitted 5%.  
                 In the Vice Chairman’s race, Wilton Town Chairman Scott Kingsley was endorsed on a voice vote.  He is being challenged by former Wilton Republican Chairwomen and Town Councilmember Shirley Needham. 
                 Call Chairman Scott Kingsley at 518-226-0369 or Vice Chair Elaine Gerber at 518.368.1106


Anonymous Anonymous said...

John franck will be happy to know that Herrick is the winner. Although Herrick will not allow Franck to run unopposed. You can take that to the bank.

September 29, 2012 at 5:14 PM 

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