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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 21, 2009

In Guilderland, Democrats in power get nod

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — Albany County’s Conservative party will back all the incumbent Democratic candidates in the upcoming town elections — forcing enrolled Conservative David Fraterrigo, making his first run for town board, into a primary.

Matt Nelligan, a Republican running for town board, has identified himself in the past as having conservative views, and unsuccessfully sought Conservative Party endorsement. The party did not give him a straight answer as to why it chose not to back him, Nelligan said.

Richard Stack, Chairman of the Conservative Party, said Nelligan wasn’t chosen because he was a quitter.

“I think the problem is that there is too much focus on the negativity surrounding Republican councilmen Warren Redlich and Mark Grimm, and that’s being taken into consideration even in the minor parties,” said Nelligan.

Nelligan told The Enterprise he wants people to focus on him as an individual, and to understand his unique platform during the campaign. He doesn’t want to see himself lumped in with Grimm and Redlich just because he is a Republican, he said.

Chairman of the Conservative Party, Richard Stack, said Grimm and Redlich were not the primary reason the party decided not to endorse Nelligan. Concerns over whether or not Nelligan could be bipartisan if Grimm were supervisor did influence him somewhat, Stack said, but he was more distressed over Nelligan’s attitude when he quit his job as a Guilderland teacher last fall. (For the full story, go to www.altamontenterprise.com, under Guilderland archives, for September 11, 2008.)

Stack read quite a bit about the issue, and said, “You don’t just quit and leave because you don’t get your way. You can’t get elected as a public official and quit when there is political uncertainty.”

Despite not having the Conservative endorsement, Nelligan said, “If somebody truly is a Conservative voter, I’d be shocked if I didn’t get their vote. I still feel good about my chances.”

Chairman of the Republican Committee, Ted Danz, said he is disappointed that the Conservatives chose not to back Nelligan, but he doesn’t think it will affect Nelligan’s run. He thinks there are a lot of “back-room” deals going on, and that the Democrats somehow got to the chairman of the Conservative party.

“I think Mr. Danz should look in the mirror,” Stack responded through The Enterprise.

 Noting that even Fraterrigo, who will run for town board, did not receive the party’s endorsement, Danz concluded,“I think they are more concerned about being on a winning team than standing up for their principals.”

Fraterrigo is automatically endorsed since he is a member of the party, and needs no authorization, Stack said. Whether or not Fraterrigo will run on the Conservative ballot will be determined in a primary. Fraterrigo could not be reached for comment this week.

Above all, Stack said he saw no reason to change the town administration that has been in place for the past two years.

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