McLaughlin Claims Victory In Rensselaer County Executive Race; Smyth Waits For Final Tally

Nov 8, 2017

Like in the Republican primary in September, it will take absentee ballots to decide the next Rensselaer County Executive.  Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin has declared victory, but Democrat Andrea Smyth isn’t conceding.

Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

"What a heck of a win, right? This was a people-powered Rensselaer County revolution, that's what this was. I am so proud of the fact that we ran nothing but a positive campaign."  Although Republican state Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin declared victory Tuesday night in Troy, Democrat Andrea Smyth announced she will wait for all the votes to be counted.

With all districts reporting just before midnight, McLaughlin was leading Smyth by 949 votes. Green Party candidate Wayne Foy tallied 565.

Republican County Executive Kathy Jimino is stepping down after 16 years.

Smyth, a political newcomer, is seeking to become the first Democrat to ever hold the office.   "I am really proud of my campaign. We have done such a great job and we are just gonna wait until every single vote is counted. I mean, that's the way it needs to be."

Smyth and McLaughlin each went door to door, meeting voters in the flesh, and advertised heavily in what became a sometimes nasty race.

Democratic Troy Mayor Patrick Madden believes he can work with either candidate .
Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Democratic Troy Mayor Patrick Madden believes he can work with either candidate and if the final winner is McLaughlin? "I know Steve on a personal level. He represented part of Troy in the Assembly. I would hope that he would continue to be an advocate for the city of Troy, and when that race is decided and everything is settled down, he and I will have a chance to talk and we'll talk about our future relationship."

McLaughlin is ready.   "You know, I think we'll work very very well together."

2,586 absentee ballots were cast. 1,345 of those were returned to the county Board of Elections. Smyth was holding out hope late Tuesday night.   "The voters came out for us and we're confident that this is gonna go our way, so we're gonna count those votes."

Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Addressing supporters in Troy, McLaughlin was already looking forward to leaving the Assembly for the county job.   "Rensselaer County has so much going for it. We have the waterfront, we have 787, we have 90, we are so perfectly situated, and we are going to grow this county, I guarantee it. We're gonna modernize, we're gonna grow the county, we're gonna bring prosperity here, we're gonna make this a place to be."