Saranac Lake Town of Harrietstown Republicans Tuesday, Aug. 21 chose Councilman Bob Bevilacqua to run against village Trustee Tom Catillaz in the November election for town supervisor.
Democrats picked Catillaz during their caucus on Aug. 15 to run for the one-year unexpired term of former Supervisor Larry Miller, who resigned earlier this year. Town Councilman and Deputy Supervisor Barry DeFuria has been filling in until a new supervisor is elected to finish out Miller’s term. Catillaz is also a former mayor of Saranac Lake.
“Tom’s a good guy,” Bevilacqua said after the caucus was over at the Harrietstown Town Hall. “I’ve known Tom for a long time. I consider him a friend, and I’m sure we’ll be friends when this is all over ... I think it will be real close. I think we’re going to have to beat the bush and get the vote out.”
Bevilacqua was the only one who submitted a letter wishing to run on the Republican ticket, and no caucus attendees nominated themselves. He will also file a petition to be on the Conservative ballot.
“That’s going to be a definite advantage to Bob in the coming election,” Town of Harrietstown Republican Committee Chairman Joe Spadaro told the 28 caucus attendees.
Spadaro announced that there are 1,096 registered Democrats and 980 registered Republicans in the town. All agreed that this would not be an easy election given the numbers and the popularity of Catillaz, who Mayor Clyde Rabideau often refers to as the “Baritone of Broadway,” even though he lives on Ampersand Avenue.
“Everybody knows Tom Catillaz,” said caucus chairman Ray Scollin. “That’s who Bob’s opponent is going to be at this point, so we need a community to get behind Bob.”
Republicans said they expect a high turnout this year because of the national election.
“I think we should all bear in mind this fall is a national election,” said Town Councilman Ron Keough. “There are going to be some very strong visions out there along party lines, Republican and Democrat. That is going to play into local (elections). It may not as much as you think it would, but it’s going to be there for some people who do straight party votes, right down the line. And so I think we have to be very attentive looking at our numbers.”