Cold Spring, Nelsonville Voters Return Incumbents to Office

By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong and Kevin Foley 

Cold Spring incumbents swept the village elections today as voters returned Mayor Seth Gallagher and Trustees Bruce Campbell and J. Ralph Falloon to office for another two years. With 547 votes, including absentee ballots, Gallagher defeated former Mayor Anthony Phillips, who got 371 total votes. Campbell, with 649 votes, and Falloon, with 631 votes, held off a challenge from Catharine Square, who received 361 votes. Village Clerk Mary Saari and her election-worker team announced the results to a crowd in the Cold Spring fire house at about 9:30 p.m., capping a day that began with voting at 6 a.m. Gallagher had previously defeated Phillips in 2009.
       This year’s run-up to a hotly contested election clearly involved outlays of funds and included automated “robo-calls” to voters on behalf of Phillips and Square — unusual in village politics, postcards and brochures for Square and Phillips, flyers by Campbell and Gallagher, and large print newspaper

Mid-day polling at Cold Spring Firehouse

 advertisements by various candidates or their supporters. Gallagher backers also made personal phone calls to prospective voters while proponents or opponents of the contenders at all levels wrote numerous letters-to-the-editor on Philipstown.info.
       Elected as mayor in 1993, Phillips served eight terms before being ousted by Gallagher, who became a trustee in 2006 and then the village’s chief executive three years later. Falloon and Campbell were elected trustees in 2009, though the latter also served in that capacity between 2002 and 2006, when Gallagher claimed his place on the Village Board. Despite running against each other initially, Gallagher and Campbell collaborated closely after their mutual elections in 2009 and Gallagher tapped Campbell as his deputy mayor. Square, a relative newcomer to the village, serves on the Special Board for a Comprehensive Plan-Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan. 

Nelsonville Trustee Race
Incumbent and local political veteran Anthony Merante won an easy victory over challenger Steven Dubroff in the race for Nelsonville village trustee held on Tuesday, March 15.  Merante beat his opponent, a newcomer to village politics, by a margin of 82-43 with approximately one-third of the eligible voters making it to the village hall to cast their paper ballots in the first contested Nelsonville election since 2002. Merante, who also served as a trustee in the late 1980s, will begin his fourth consecutive two-year term.  He also serves as the chairman of the Philipstown Planning Board.

Steven Dubroff (R) congratulates Ande Merante on his victory

Dubroff thanked Village Clerk Pauline Minners and the three election workers who conducted the election and counted the ballots and then he congratulated Merante before making a hasty exit from a room populated by Merante supporters. “It’s good to have some opposition, got me a little nervous towards the end, but when people realize you’ve done good work and have people’s interests at heart it gets them out to vote,” said Merante.  “I’m glad there was competition this time so Cold Spring doesn’t get all the news,” he wryly added. Incumbent Mayor Tom Corless, running unopposed, received 109 votes.


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7 thoughts on “Cold Spring, Nelsonville Voters Return Incumbents to Office

  1. I’m amazed with the margin of victory! The PCNR gave the impression of a much closer election. Delighted to discover people saw through Gordon Robertson’s petulant postings in the paper. Plus, villagers realized, Seth offers a far more constructive welcoming approach to local government, than Tony Phillips.
    As much As a dislike Phillips’ style, I hope Seth will try to reach out to him.
    Congrats to Bruce, the night’s big vote winner!

  2. Wow! Great Election…Democracy in ACTION! I love it! My favorite part of this most recent village campaign cycle, was the heated passionate debate…online and off, which was shared by the good folks of our region. Personally, I was able to share information with new individuals, regarding Cold Spring’s tap water and Sewer crisis, and that has been satisfying for me. It is important for there to be an open and honest discussion regarding ALL issues that we hold dear, here in the HRV! Congrats to those who won and to those who did not…I’m impressed with anyone who engages in the democratic process…whether I agree with them…on am vehemently opposed to their convictions…politically speaking! Ciao for now!
    Russ Cusick
    Cold Spring, NY

  3. Oh yeah…Although I am not a supporter of Mr. Gallagher, and for good reason, I might add! I am thrilled that given the fact that we have a crazy far right wing “Tea Partier” as our congressional rep….and Roger Ailes, publishing every “physical” newspaper in Putnan County…including the one in the Village of CS…Perhaps, politically speaking, this is a good sign of things to come…I’m forever hopeful.

  4. Despite the rancor leading up to the election, today clearly demonstrates that our community has embraced the mayor and re-elected trustee’s governing style.

    With margins like ones shown tonight, there should be little room to debate where the residents of this village stand on open, honest, approachable, and responsible leadership.

    Congratulations to Mayor Gallagher, Trustees Campbell and Falloon.

  5. Hearty congratulations to the Mayor and Trustees Campbell, Falloon and our dedicated neighbor Trustee Merante!

    As Thomas A notes, the margin of victory is a ringing endorsement of the incumbents and their practice of governance. These truly are dedicated public servants who have a great track record. They ran on their records; they won on their records.

    Kudos to the hard-working candidates and their supporters. As a volunteer in the Gallagher campaign, I am proud that our candidate led a positive campaign that stuck to the facts and didn’t rely on character attacks. It’s clear that positive, fact-based campaigning, combined with good old community organizing, can succeed.

    Nice to see the photo of Messrs. Merante and Dubroff shaking hands. In America, we have a long and dignified history, in the political arena and the sports arena, of opponents congratulating each other after the contest. Perhaps in the next Cold Spring village election we will see the kind of sportsmanlike behavior that Mr. Dubroff displayed after his defeat.