NORTHAMPTON - Longtime Northville Mayor James Groff on Tuesday derailed incumbent town Supervisor Linda Kemper's re-election bid by more than 100 votes, according to unofficial results.
Groff, the Republican-Conservative candidate, received 468 votes, while independent Kemper of the Wisest Choice Party received 351 votes, according to the Fulton County Board of Elections. Groff also was on the independent Unite N'Hampton line.
There were 58 absentees in the town that needed to be counted as of Tuesday, but it is not enough to cause a Kemper victory.
Reached this morning, Groff was excited to get started in January as the town's new supervisor.
"We worked hard and it paid off," Groff said of his campaign.
Kemper is the current vice chairwoman of the Fulton County Board of Supervisors. She also serves as chairwoman of the board's Public Safety Committee. She has served several terms as supervisor and has had roles in town government since 1995.
Groff, who lives at 163 W. Prospect St., has served as village mayor since 1994 and has been on the Village Board since 1977. Over the years, he also has served as a volunteer firefighter and as an officer with the Fulton County Sheriff's Department. Today, he said he was looking forward to getting going for the sake of his town.
"Our biggest goal is to try to combine services between the town and the village to keep taxes down," Groff stated.
In September, Kemper was beaten by Groff 211-92 in the Republican primary. She also lost in the Conservative primary, 11-3. In a previous faceoff in 2009, Groff lost to Kemper in a race for supervisor.
Groff said previously another major goal for him would be doing his best to control the tax rate. With state mandates raising county and school taxes, Groff said, it is important to keep the town tax rate as low as possible.
Groff is scheduled to serve a three-year term.
Kemper couldn't be reached this morning for comment.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org