Winds of change whirl through Warren County

— It was a season of upsets, surprises and comebacks for elections in Warren County, as campaigns culminated Tuesday with a considerable number of new citizens taking over offices of leadership in local government.

At no place in the county was this more apparent than in the town of Lake George, where an independent, upstart group disrupted the political status quo and swept their entire slate of candidates into office.

The Lake George Citizens Group made history locally, as their candidate Dennis Dickinson won the town supervisor post with a solid margin, and Dan Hurley and Marisa Muratori — also promoted by the group — bested two veteran Republicans, Caryl Clark and Scott Wood, who had for many years enjoyed solid popular support.

In Warrensburg, a similar upset occurred.

Political newcomers Joyce Reed and Linda Marcella trounced long-tenured Republicans Austin Markey and Dean Ackley for the town board, in a coup that is expected to prompt a substantial shift in local politics.

In the Town of Horicon, blunt, outspoken Town Supervisor Ralph Bentley — who had been handed defeat in the Republican primary by local contractor Bob Olson — scored a stunning comeback win as an independent candidate in the general election. Bentley’s hand-picked choice for a successor in his post, political newcomer Matthew J. Simpson, out-polled popular, established councilman Joseph Dooris.

In Johnsburg, the laid-back, affable Ron Vanselow, a rare Democrat in G.O.P territory, handily won an election — his first ever for the town supervisor post — despite a last minute anonymous accusation that he had once smuggled contraband into jail for prisoners, leading to the termination of his job as a GED instructor for inmates. It turns out he had delivered holiday candy to his students as a reward for their efforts.

In Hague, Edna Frasier, deputy supervisor Edna Frasier won a race for the top post, defeating a write-in challenge from David Fitzgerald, to replace career politician Supervisor Dan Belden, who is retiring.

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