It looks like there’s some fallout at the local politics level from the Roy McDonald-Kathy Marchione battle, with bad blood from the intra-party feud spilling over into the fight to succeed outgoing Saratoga County GOP Chairman Jasper Nolan.
The tussle over the chairmanship pits former Saratoga County Treasurer Chris Callaghan (best known for his failed state comptroller run in 2006, his penchant for bow ties and witty satirical ditties) against County GOP Vice Chairman and former Stillwater Mayor John Herrick.
Herrick, who also did a stint as the head of the Saratoga Springs GOP, was an early supporter of County Clerk Kathy Marchione’s successful primary challenge to Sen. Roy McDonald in the 43rd Senate District.
Nolan, who, according to a GOP source, was has been publicly neutral regarding his preference for a successor but worked behind the scenes to assist Callaghan, was backing McDonald.
Callaghan never publicly endorsed either Marchione or McDonald, although he did declare on his blog that he was offender “as a former County employee and as a practitioner of politics” by a McDonald ad that slammed Marchione for “living high on the hog at the expense of Saratoga County taxpayers.”
Thanks to Callaghan’s association with Nolan, however, he was viewed as pro-McDonald, my source said. And, as we now know, while association with the incumbent in a primary is often a safe bet, that was not the case in this race.
“I do think part of this is collateral damage,” the source said. “John was able to work this thing his way, and some of that behind the scenes stuff on Roy got on Chris a little.”
The death knell for Callaghan was the loss of the Halfmoon GOP, which voted just this week to back Herrick.
According to my source, there’s a good bit of lingering tension between Halfmoon Republicans and McDonald. Marchione won the committee’s unanimous endorsement fairly early in the race. (March 20, to be exact, which was several weeks before she officially announced her candidacy).
Coupled with support from the town of Wilton’s Republican committee, the Halfmoon vote put Herrick over the top. “It’s a fait accompli now; it’s done,” my source said.
Callaghan admitted as much on his blog, writing:
“Unlike the Packers, I cannot blame John’s last minute scores on bad officiating. I congratulate him on his victory.”
Callaghan also said he had heard rumors that Herrick’s impending victory was due to “transactional politics.” He did not elaborate other than to say he hoped and doubted that wasn’t the case “since the committees are smart enough to know that John’s chairmanship will likely last much longer than any benefit from any deal.”
The chairmanship vote will be held tomorrow morning at the Saratoga-Wilton Elks Club off Route 9 in Saratoga Springs. As of last week, Nolan was still insisting there was no frontrunner in the race.
Interestingly, if you scroll through Callaghan’s blog, you’ll find a letter of support from former NYS GOP Chairman Bill Powers. The letter is as much an ode to Nolan as it is an endorsement of Callaghan, which makes sense, since Nolan and Powers served together in the GOP trenches, if you will.
But it’s a little weird for Powers, who is now a lobbyist, to involve himself in a local political battle.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on September 28, 2012 at 5:46 pm, and is filed under Republicans, State Senate, Upstate NY. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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