WARRENSBURG - Despite hard-fought campaigns to oust public officials around Warren County, incumbents in nearly all races were able to hold onto their posts in government.
The competition was fiery in Warrensburg, where Supervisor Kevin Geraghty, who's served many years on the town board, turned back an aggressive challenge launched by funeral home owner Maynard D. Baker. Backed by two rebel town board members and council candidate Bryan Rounds, Baker fought on the planks of cutting taxes and downsizing government.
Although losing in the September Republican Primary, Geraghty's supporters fought back to secure a modest 637-549 margin in Tuesday's vote, a tally that's not likely to be overturned by the 100 or so outstanding absentee ballots next week.
For Warrensburg Town Board, incumbent trustee and funeral home owner John Alexander (R) came out on top with 687 votes, followed by former town Planning Board member and chair Bryan Rounds (R), a Baker ally with 610 votes. Incumbent Joseph Barlow (C,I) 547, an insurance executive and a political moderate, was ousted with 547 votes.
Baker had alleged that Geraghty had been extravagant with the taxpayers' money - which Geraghty supporters vehemently disputed. Then just last week, the Baker-Rounds campaign took an ugly turn last Thursday when they placed an ad in the Adirondack Journal accusing long-time town Public Works Superintendent Rick Galusha of neglecting the town sewer plant, prompting a state mandate of a $500,000 expansion that would result in Galusha's personal gain -- but both were patently false allegations. Galusha took out a full-page ad in the area daily newspaper disputing the claims, and political observers say that the false allegations hurt Baker, not Geraghty as they were intended to -- maybe costing him the election. Baker denied knowledge of the ad's origin this week when confronted by the daily's editor.