Giardino wins in primary

Nancy Waffle casts her votes during Primary Day on Tuesday at the Gloversville Senior Citizens Center. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — By a nearly four to one ratio, Republican incumbent Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino on Tuesday cruised to a comfortable Primary Day victory over challenger Donald VanDeusen.

The sheriff beat the former Gloversville police chief by a 2,794 to 728 count to become the GOP nominee for sheriff, according to unofficial results from the Fulton County Board of Elections. There were 14 write-in votes cast in the GOP primary.

Since Giardino has no other challengers in the Nov. 5 general election, he is guaranteed a second, four-year term leading the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department in its police coverage of the 10 towns, Civil Defense Office and 911 center, and County Jail. His name will also be on the Conservative line in November.

Reached this morning, Giardino downplayed any personal reasons for his overwhelming victory.

“They were offered a choice and I hope they realize the men and women of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department do a very good job, overall,” he said.

Giardino noted the turnout was small for an early primary, and a primary that “didn’t get a lot of publicity.” He said he was heartened by the support of Glove Cities Republicans who came out and voted, even though the cities have their own police coverage. He said his office will work on better coverage in the western part of Fulton County.

In his next term, as a priority, the sheriff said he wishes to address keeping good officers in the sheriff’s office.

“I think the main thing is retention,” Giardino said.

VanDeusen, a town of Johnstown resident, couldn’t be reached this morning for comment.

Giardino, a Mayfield resident is a former Fulton County district attorney and Fulton County Court judge. He has not only served as Fulton County Court judge, but as a mult-bench judge in the state’s 4th Judicial District.

He attended Siena College for his bachelor of arts degree and Albany Law School for his juris doctor degree.

Giardino began his career in 1985 as an assistant Nassau County district attorney. The following year, he became an assistant Fulton County district attorney. He was elected in 1991 to become Fulton County district attorney, starting in 1992. In 1997, he joined the Fulton County Court. He is credited with starting Fulton County Drug Court, which is designed as an option to jail sentences.

He has been an adjunct faculty member at Fulton-Montgomery Community College since 1986, teaching criminal law, and was the first chairman of the county Domestic Violence Task Force.

VanDeusen was a member of the Gloversville Police Department for 25 years, serving as chief of police from 2012 until his retirement in 2016 and currently serves with the St. Johnsville Police Department as the school resource officer in the Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Junior Senior High School.

Unofficial results from Tuesday’s eight other Republican primaries are listed below:

∫ City of Johnstown: incumbent Republican 1st Ward Councilman Bradley Hayner beat David Sagan 84-68. Hayner’s name will also be on the “Johnstown First” independent line in the general election.

∫ Town of Bleecker: A two-way Republican primary for highway superintendent resulted in Paul S. Brink beating Robert Young, 41-18.

∫ Town of Broadalbin: Town Republican voters chose two of four GOP candidates for councilman. They were Junell Pasquarelli — 177, David Bardascini — 181. Trailing were Leo VanAllen — 100, and Cynthia McClarren — 128.

∫ Town of Caroga: Incumbent Republican Supervisor James Selmser lost a primary matchup against challenger Scott Horton, 213-89. Both candidates filed previously as independents to be on the November general election ballot. Selmser filed as an independent “Caroga First” candidate. Horton’s designation is “The New Caroga” party.

Town Republican voters chose two of four GOP candidates for councilman. They were Donald Travis — 189, and Richard Sturgess — 239. Others on the ballot were: Kent Kirch — 25, and Jeremy Manning — 95. On the ballot in November as independent is Travis — “Wilderness Party.”

∫ Town of Mayfield: Incumbent Highway Superintendent Melvyn Dopp was defeated by Jeffery Martin Jr. in a GOP primary, 491-271. Republican nominee Martin faces Democrat Robert A. Carter Jr. in the general election. Martin will also be on the ballot in November as an independent “Four Season” party candidate.

∫ Town of Oppenheim: The town had two Republican primaries. Incumbent Town Clerk Gloria Brys beat back a challenge from Kristy Buccolo, 55-44. Brys will also be a “Life is Good” party independent candidate in the general election ballot.

Town Republican voters selected these two of these three councilman candidates: Robert Pierce — 49, and Robert Norris Jr. — 62. Carolyn Johnson received 45 votes to come in third. But on the ballot in November as independents for councilman are Johnson — “C–One” party; and Richard L. Crum — “Bulldog” party.

Montgomery County

Montgomery County’s unofficial primary results were as follows:

In the city of Amsterdam, incumbent Mayor Michael Villa lost an Independence Party primary to challenger Michael Cinquanti, 22-13. Also in the city, Villa lost the Conservative line to write-ins, 29-13.

An Amsterdam Third Ward Conservative Party primary had Irene Collins with six votes, beating write-ins, four.

Countywide, John R. DeStefano lost to Ariel Santiago, 31-27, for the Conservative coroner line.

In a primary for county legislator in District 3. John Thayer had 76 votes to 48 for write-ins for the Republican line. Thayer also beat write-ins eight to five in the Conservative primary.

In the town of Palatine supervisor race, Republican Bill MacLauchlin beat Christopher C. Novak, 91-66.

Town of Root voters chose between these two of four Republican council member candidates: John VanKersen — 35, and Donald Bramer — 28. Trailing were Eyn C. Fessenden — 12, and Peter W. Rebokis — 10.

In the town of St. Johnsville Republican highway superintendent primary, William L. Putman defeated Maynard J. Baker, 30-17.

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

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