Anti-wind power forces came out on top in Cape Vincent after absentee ballots were counted, while the supervisor in Lyme hung on to win re-election in uncertified results.
Shortly after the Nov. 2 election, Cape Vincent Democratic Party Chairman Harold L. Wiley had all but conceded the party’s endorsed candidates for Town Council and supervisor — Marty T. Mason, Donald J. Mason and Harvey J. White, even with more than 500 eligible absentee ballots. But he still held out hope that 28-year incumbent town justice Kirk E. Grant, running on the Conservative line, would win re-election; Mr. Grant’s position on the bench had nothing to do with the wind power debate, Mr. Wiley reasoned. Mr. Grant was leading Republican Colleen M. Knuth, 565-369, before the absentee ballots were counted.
But with the help of absentee ballots, Ms. Knuth overcame Mr. Grant for second place. Town Justice John D. Blodgett had 1,024 votes, Ms. Knuth had 706 votes and Mr. Grant had 652 votes.
“Oh, no,” Mr. Wiley said when informed of the unofficial results. “That’s just unbelievable.”
The results demonstrated just how pervasive an issue wind is in Cape Vincent, and was an indication that the tide of public opinion was trending heavily against wind-power development — concerns about seasonal residents notwithstanding. It’s unclear, though, how much of an affect that the one-issue election will actually have over that issue. A new state law gives the state much of the power on deciding where and whether wind turbines can be placed.
Mr. Wiley said that wind power was the likely cause of Mr. Grant getting voted out.
“He doesn’t have any voice in government” on the wind-power issue, Mr. Wiley said.“I guess he has relatives that might have a contract (with wind-power companies). That’s probably what did it.”
After election night, anti-wind power candidates for Town Council expanded their leads or overtook pro-wind power candidates.
Urban C. Hirschey, the Republican supervisor, doubled Mr. White’s vote count after absentees were counted, winning 888-442. On election night, Mr. Hirschey led 518-388.
Republican Clifford Schneider was the top vote-getter for Town Council with 826 votes; fellow anti-wind power development Republican John L. Byrne III won the other spot with 806 votes.
Pro-wind power incumbent Marty Mason lost with 515 votes, while Donald Mason took in 484 votes.
From election night until after the absentee votes were counted, the anti-wind power candidates increased their tallies by about five and a half times more votes than the pro-wind power candidates increased their tallies. On election night, Mr. Schneider had 471 votes, Mr. Byrne had 448 votes, Marty Mason had 453 votes and Donald Mason had 423 votes.
Election officials said that Elisabeth “Liz” Brennan was the apparent victor for a seat on the village Board of Trustees. Democrats, who had lost the ability to put candidates on the line because of a paperwork mishap, endorsed Ms. Brennan as a write-in candidate. Election officials said that she earned more than 200 votes, though they couldn’t specify, because some might be invalidated depending on whether the name was properly written in.
“From what we’re seeing, she was the definitive winner,” said Sean M. Hennessey, Jefferson County Democratic elections commissioner.
She beat Republican Harry E. Landers Jr. for the second of two open spots on the board. Republican Pamela Youngs won the other seat, elections officials said.
Highway superintendent Danny P. Hubbard was also easily re-elected with a write-in campaign, officials said.
In the town of Lyme, Democratic Supervisor Scott Aubertine held on to his election-night lead over Republican Alan Jones after absentee ballots were counted, 450-412.