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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 10, 2011

Milner is out,
Democrats rule in Westerlo

By Zach Simeone

WESTERLO — While most elections in Westerlo were uncontested this year, the race for town board saw an incumbent Republican and his running mate defeated by Democrats in a landslide.

Republican Clinton “Jack” Milner, who had been on the town board since 2009, was hoping to win his first full term on the board. But, he and Republican Laura Palmer, a newcomer to politics, were defeated by Democrats Alfred Field, also a newcomer, and Anthony Sherman, chairman of the planning board.

According to unofficial results from the Albany County Board of Elections, Sherman got 620 votes, or 34 percent, and Field got 572 votes, or 31 percent, while Milner got 331 votes, or 18 percent, and Palmer got 316 votes, or 17 percent.

Supervisor Richard Rapp, who ran unopposed this year for re-election to a post he has held for nearly 40 years, said Wednesday, “Sometimes, I think there’s a little infighting with the Republican Party — I’m not sure, but that’s what it looks like.”

Dorothy Verch, chairman of the town’s Republican committee, wrote an e-mail to The Enterprise Wednesday that supported Rapp’s suspicion.

“I am not surprised that Jack Milner and Laura Palmer had such a poor showing,” Verch wrote. “After the Republican caucus, as GOP chairman, I called a meeting to determine the approach that we would take to ensure their election. At this meeting, Jack and Laura stated, in no uncertain terms, that they needed no support, financial or otherwise, from the Republican Party, and I took them at their word.”

Milner said Wednesday that he will not likely run for office again.

“I’m 71 now,” he said. “At least I did accomplish something. I got the dump halfway straightened out. Hopefully, they’ll get the speed limit lowered in South Westerlo. That’s probably more than the rest of those guys have done in 20 years, besides draw paychecks.”

Palmer, Sherman, and Field could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.

Vote tallies for the uncontested races are as follows: Rapp got 729 votes in the race for supervisor, and five write-in votes were cast; Democrat Kathleen Spinnato got 827 votes in the race for town clerk, and two write in votes were cast; incumbent Democrat John Nevins got 784 votes in the race for highway superintendent, and four write-in votes were cast; and Independence candidate Robert Carl got 859 votes in the race for town justice, and three write-in votes were cast.

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