Are elections deliberately confusing? Do you understand the platforms of the candidates who are running? Do you understand all the party lines?
Corinne Carey, Hudson Mohawk Magazine’s political & public affairs correspondent, is conducting a series of interviews with Troy-based candidates for local office. Corinne invited all 38 candidates running on 5 party lines for 5 local offices (Family Court Judge, Rensselaer County Executive, RensCo County Clerk, RensCo County Legislature, and Troy City Council) to sit for a 10-minute candidate profile interview for Hudson Mohawk Magazine.
To hear about the series as a whole, Corinne was interviewed about her work at the beginning of September and again at the beginning of October.
Family Court Judge
HMM correspondent Corinne Carey spoke with Anne Coonrad, who is challenging sitting Judge Jill Kehn for the position of Family Court Judge in Rensselaer County. Carey spoke with Coonrad about her experience, her priorities, and what characteristics she thinks a family court judge ought to have.
Judge Jill Kehn, appointed as Acting Family Court judge in 2015, will face challenger Anne Coonrad for the role of Rensselaer Family Court judge when voters go to the polls on November 2. HMM correspondent Corinne Carey spoke with Judge Kehn about the role of a family court judge; her views on how race and class affect those who come before her seeking justice; and what she enjoys doing when she’s not on the bench or out campaigning.
Rensselaer County Executive
Gwen Wright, Democratic candidate for Rensselaer County Executive, spoke with HMM political & public affairs correspondent Corinne Carey about her priorities; where she stands on some of the issues facing the county; why voters from every party should consider voting for her; and what brings her joy.
Our correspondent reached out several times to Wright’s opponents, current county executive Steve McLaughlin, and Sara McDermott, who is running on the Working Families Party line for the seat, but neither McLaughlin nor McDermott responded to repeated requests for an interview.
RensCo County Legislature
Rodney Wiltshire, former Troy City Council President and 2-time mayoral candidate, is seeking a term on the Rensselaer County Legislature representing District 1, which covers Troy. HMM political & public affairs correspondent Corinne Carey spoke with Rodney about what accomplishments as a public official he’s most proud of, his feelings about the Black Lives Matter movement, and where he stands on some of the issues facing Troy.
Rensselaer County lawmaker Mark Fleming is seeking re-election to his seat representing District 1’s Troy. Fleming spoke with Hudson Mohawk Magazine correspondent Corinne Carey about his campaign, what he’s most proud of in his public service career, and where he stands on some of the county’s hot-button issues.
HMM correspondent Corinne Carey spoke with Ken Zalewski who has represented Troy’s 5th District on the City Council for a total of ten years about his bid for a county legislature seat representing District 1, which encompasses the City of Troy. Ken spoke about his view of the role of the county legislature, as well as his position on a number of hot topics facing local lawmakers.
Peter Grimm represents District 1 in the Rensselaer County Legislature, and he’ll be on the November 2 ballot seeking another term in office. Grimm spoke with HMM correspondent Corinne Carey about what motivated him to run for county legislature in the first place, what the Black Lives Matter movement means to him, and how he feels about some of the important issues facing our county.
Cindy Doran is seeking a second full term as a Rensselaer County legislator representing District 1, Troy. She spoke with HMM correspondent Corinne Carey about her priorities and where she stands on some of the issues facing the county legislature.
RensCo County Clerk
Frank J. Merola is seeking a seventh term as Rensselaer County Clerk. If successful, Merola would longest-serving RensCo County Clerk. HMM correspondent Corinne Carey spoke with Frank about the role of County Clerk, and his view of the office. This interview is part of HMM’s Election Watch 2021 Series featuring candidate profiles of those seeking office in the upcoming general election.
On November 2, Rensselaer County voters will see a new name on the ballot for the position of County Clerk. Justan Foster is running to unseat Frank J. Merola, who is seeking his 7th term as Rensselaer County Clerk. HMM correspondent Corinne Carey spoke with Justan about his priorities, and the important work of the County Clerk. This interview is part of HMM’s Election Watch 2021 Series featuring candidate profiles of those seeking office in the upcoming general election.
Troy City Council
HMM correspondent Corinne Carey spoke with Emily Menn, candidate for Troy City Council in District 4. Emily shared her thoughts about development in the city, who she looks to for guidance, and where she stands on some of Troy’s most pressing issues.
Local poet D. Colin Charlestin is challenging long-time incumbent Jim Gulli for the District 1 seat on Troy’s City Council. HMM correspondent Corinne Carey spoke to D. about her campaign, her priorities, and some of Troy’s hot-button political issues.
Kiani Conley-Wilson bested her challenger Cary Dresher in the Democratic Primary in June, and she’ll compete with property investor Aaron Lozier for a seat on Troy’s City Council representing District 5 in the general election on November 2. HMM political & public affairs correspondent Corinne Carey spoke with Conley-Wilson about her priorities, how she’ll govern should she win the seat, and where she stands on some of Troy’s hot-button political issues.
Sue Steele is seeking a second term on Troy’s City Council. HMM correspondent Corinne Carey talked to Sue about her views on housing, development, and how the city should spend more than $45 million in federal relief funds. She also answered some rapid fire questions about hot-button issues facing the city’s lawmakers.
First-time political candidate Steven Figueroa, a community leader in North Central Troy, is running to represent District 2 on Troy’s City Council. He spoke with HMM correspondent Corinne Carey about his priorities and his campaign. Figueroa will face off against incumbent City Councilperson Kim Ashe-McPherson on November 2.
Community organizer Marketa Edwards spoke with HMM correspondent Corinne Carey about her race against both a Democrat and a Republican candidate for Troy City Council’s District 6 seat. In this interview, Edwards addressed her priorities, what distinguishes her from the other candidates, and where she stands on some of Troy’s pressing issues.
Neither of Edwards’ opponents, Irene Sorriento (R) nor Cheryl Kennedy (D) responded to repeated requests for an interview.
More Election Watch 2021
Corinne Carey, Hudson Mohawk Magazine’s political & public affairs correspondent, spoke with radio hosts about the Election Watch 2021 series as it was beginning and later with updates:
Wednesday night, October 20th, the Albany Mayoral debate took place as a virtual forum. The three most prominent candidates took part adn the public was invited to submit questions. The full debate is available on the Facebook page of the Albany NAACP. Edited by Moses Nagel
With 38 local candidates running on 5 party lines for 5 different offices this year, Troy voters are likely to face confusing choices on their November 2 general election ballot. HMM correspondent Corinne Carey spoke with Troy City Councilperson Anasha Cummings to get his take on what’s at stake in this election for Troy. This interview is Part 1 of a 2-part interview with Cummings, who currently represents District 4, but is not running for re-election this year. This segment aims to help Troy voters decode the November 2021 ballot, and kicks of a series of candidate profile interviews that will air on the Hudson Mohawk Magazine between September and election day on November 2.
Voters in NYS will decide on 5 ballot propositions this November. #1 is Legislative Redistricting; #2 Environmental Rights #3 Same-Day Voter Registration #4 No-excuse Absentee Voting #5 Raise NYC Civil Court Limits. Susan Lerner of Common Cause and Blair Horner of NYPIRG discuss why their groups recommend a yes vote on all five. With Mark Dunlea for Hudson Mohawk Radio Network.
The NYS League of Women Voters (LWV) are recommending a “No” Vote on Proposition 1 on this year’s election ballot which would amend the state constitution on various voting issues, including the process of withdrawing state legislative and Congressional district lines after the census every ten years. Jennifer Wilson of the LWV discusses the concern that the amendment would weaken the role of the minority parties. With Mark Dunlea for Hudson Mohawk Radio Network.
Election Day is coming up, and not everyone has equal access. Disability advocate Blaise Bryant spoke with Sina Basila Hickey about concerns to the Disabled community, politicians not doing enough, and what changes he’d like to see.
On October 15, 2021, the Hudson Mohawk Magazine Network Roaming Labor Correspondent Willie Terry attended a virtual press conference by the Poor People’s Campaign. They released a report entitled “Waking the Sleeping Giant.” The information is about the groundbreaking study of the power of poor and low-income voters in the 2020 election. In this segment, you will hear from Rev. William Barber and others speaking about the importance of the information. To see the full report, go to “poorpeoplescampaign.org.”
For more information about how and where to vote in Rensselaer County during the primary election, visit the Board of Elections website, and remember:
And you can visit Vote411.org for more info!