By MICHAEL ANICH
GLOVERSVILLE - Mayor Dayton King took a big step toward re-election Tuesday night, capturing the Republican and Conservative nominations over his two challengers.
Gloversville Mayor Dayton King holds his family — wife Chanda and
children Cayden and Isabelle — in a celebratory hug at the Glove City Sports Lounge Tuesday. Michael Anich The Leader-Herald
"We feel good," King said Tuesday night. "I still feel I'm the mayor for all the people."
Unofficial Fulton County Board of Elections results showed King garnered 435 votes, while Michael Ponticello received 372 votes and James Handy earned 133 votes.
King, 34, also beat Handy 19-6 in the Conservative primary.
The victories give King the Republican and Conservative ballot lines in the Nov. 5 general election, pending the counting of 82 absentee ballots. He also will be on the independent People's line.
Handy will run in the general election as an independent candidate. Ponticello, who was endorsed by the city Republican Committee, will be off the ballot, having sought only the Republican line.
According to the Board of Elections, 161 Republican absentee ballots in Gloversville were mailed. So far, 82 have been sent back and still have to be counted. Voters filing absentee ballots had to have them postmarked by Monday, and they must be received by the board by next Tuesday. There were no Conservative absentee ballots.
The mayor and his family and friends were all smiles Tuesday night as they celebrated King's victories in the primaries at the downtown Glove City Sports Lounge after the results came into the elections office.
Handy will appear on the ballot in November on the independent Working for You line.
Former McNab-Meco Elementary School Principal Ponticello did not file to run as an independent.
"We ran a positive campaign," Ponticello said today. "Most of the people are satisfied with the way city government is operating."
Handy, who served as the city's 5th Ward councilman from 2004 to 2005 and as councilman-at-large from 2006 to 2009, said Tuesday night the split vote among the two challengers hurt both of them.
"It looks like if you take my vote and Ponticello's vote, we beat Dayton's vote," Handy said.
He said he remains upbeat as his campaign aims to get a bounce from Democratic voters introduced into the city race in the general election.
"The numbers could change in November," Handy said.
Gloversville has 2,465 registered Republicans and 1,895 registered Democrats.
King criticized the local Republican establishment over the process that led to the Gloversville Republican Committee's early endorsement of Ponticello. He said there may be changes in the city and Fulton County GOP leadership in the future, and he will be in contact with New York State Republican Committee Chairman Edward Cox to express his thoughts.
King said he "didn't have a big amount of money" to spend in the primaries. He said he thinks the key to his two victories was old-fashioned "door-to-door" contact with his constituents.
"It's really my ability to communicate with people," the mayor said.
He said he thinks taxes will go down in the city next year as his administration also tries to bring more jobs to the area. He said he aims to forge a stronger relationship with the city of Johnstown and expressed a desire to have the Gloversville mayor serve on the Fulton County Board of Supervisors.
If King is re-elected in November, he would be the first mayor in the city to serve a second term in more than 40 years. According to the city website, the last mayor to be re-elected was Richard H. Hood, who served from 1962 to 1969.
The position of city mayor carries a four-year term and pays a yearly salary of $39,839.
Michael Anich can be reached at email@example.com.