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Democratic official leaves post

November 29, 2012
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - The Fulton County Democratic Committee is recommending replacement of four-year county Democratic Election Commissioner John Schermerhorn with Lynn M. Rubscha to start the new year, and the incumbent isn't happy.

"I thought I was doing a good job, an excellent job," Schermerhorn said Wednesday. "The office was operating like never before."

Democratic Committee Chairman Ed Jasewicz said Wednesday although Schermerhorn had interest in seeking a third two-year term, he didn't follow through with the formal committee interview process.

Article Photos

John Schermerhorn

Jasewicz said the committee voted in November to recommend Rubscha, of Gloversville, to the Fulton County Board of Supervisors for approval. Her term would run from January 2013 through Dec. 31, 2014.

"She has extremely good credentials," Jasewicz said.

He said Rubscha, Schermerhorn and a person he declined to name were candidates. He said Schermerhorn had a conflict and "didn't show up" for his committee interview.

"I was interested," Schermerhorn said.

Rubscha didn't return a phone call Wednesday.

The county Board of Elections has two part-time election commissioners - one from each party- whose $13,000-per-year positions are paid for by the county. Commissioners oversee the full-time staff at the Route 29 elections office and rule on election issues.

The Board of Supervisors will vote on Rubscha's nomination at its organizational meeting Jan. 2. Jasewicz said that board can reject the nomination and send it back to the political committee for a revote, as it did once for former Democratic Commissioner Marilyn Cornell.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said Monday members of the political party can still override supervisors' decision.

The Fulton County Democratic Committee has had some internal controversy in recent years.

Jasewicz formed a nominating committee in October 2010 - after he became the new committee chairman - to look into filling the expired term of the commissioner, but he said it was not necessarily to replace Schermerhorn. The next month, Schermerhorn was unanimously renominated to a second, two-year term.

Cornell and former committee member Katherine Joyce were subjects of a 2009 police investigation. The two Democratic activists fell into disfavor with some in the party after the 2009 Gloversville mayoral campaign. They signed as witnesses to petition signatures for then-incumbent Gloversville Mayor Tim Hughes. A police investigation revealed the two didn't actually witness the signatures, some of which turned out to be bogus.

Hughes pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and was fined.

Cornell and Joyce weren't charged.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at johnstown@leaderherald.com.

 
 

 

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