By MICHAEL ANICH
JOHNSTOWN - Scott Jeffers said Tuesday night his youth may have been the key to his Republican city mayoral primary victory over his two opponents.
The 29-year-old said his hard work at campaigning also may have helped.
"Maybe I did a little more," Jeffers said at the Fulton County Board of Elections.
With unofficial voting results in, Jeffers won the GOP primary for mayor by receiving 292 votes. Coming in second was 62-year-old 3rd Ward Councilwoman Helen Martin with 231 votes. Trailing was 67-year-old local businessman Larry Razzano with107 votes.
As winner of the Republican nomination, Jeffers'
name will be on the ballot line in the Nov. 5 general election, facing Democratic retired pharmacist Michael Julius. Martin will be on the Conservative line in November.
The three will seek to replace two-term Republican Mayor Sarah Slingerland, who didn't seek re-election.
According to the Board of Elections, 122 Republican absentee ballots in the city were mailed out. A?total of 65 were sent back as of Tuesday. People filing absentee ballots still have until Tuesday to get them to the board, at which time all of the absentees will be opened and counted.
Jeffers, a city Water Board member and former unsuccessful candidate for councilman-at-large in 2007, took a deep breath after closely watching the final results trickle in at the Board of Elections office. He praised his challengers for their campaigns.
"I'm quite pleased with the results," Jeffers said. "I'm excited."
Martin, the exports director for Milligan & Higgins in Johnstown, said today her campaign is retooling.
"I'm still in the race on the Conservative line and I'm just assessing my position," she said. "I'm still cautiously optimistic, and we'll see what happens."
Razzano couldn't be reached Tuesday night or this morning for comment.
Julius said today, "This is exciting. We're going to have a three-way race. This is the new American Revolution with the mayor's race. I'm looking forward to the exchange of ideas."
Jeffers is a lifelong resident of the city and a 2002 graduate of Johnstown High School. He has a master's degree in secondary social studies education from the State University of New York at Cortland.
Jeffers has been associated with local social organizations and has volunteered and coached sports in Johnstown at the middle- and high-school level. He works as a substitute teacher.
The mayor's position carries a four-year term and is considered part-time. Slingerland was paid $18,241 for 2013. The new mayor will take office at the start of 2014.
Jeffers, who is single and lives on West Second Avenue, said one of the things he would like to deal with right away if he becomes mayor is getting regular Gloversville Transit System service back into the city of Johnstown. He said senior citizens and others in Johnstown need that service, which was discontinued on many streets a few years ago.
He has campaigned for the continuation of economic development and consolidation efforts.
He said he thinks the city has good employees and the city's Water Department is a huge asset.
Michael Anich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.