Middleburgh GOP picks Wes--not Pete


By Patsy Nicosia

Middleburgh “boy,” Middleburgh Central School teacher, and one-time Assembly contender Wes Laraway won the GOP nod for supervisor in Thursday’s town caucus.
In voting by a standing-room-only crowd at the Middleburgh Firehouse, Mr. Laraway won the nomination over incumbent Pete Coppolo, 76-47.
He’ll now face the Democrat challenger—if there is one—in November’s election.
But that doesn’t mean Mr. Coppolo is gone.
In other voting Thursday, Republicans chose Mr. Coppolo as one of two councilman candidates with 83 votes.
Newcomer Steve Hendrickson polled 82 votes to become the second candidate.
Incumbent councilman Frank Herodes got 70 votes.
Mr. Coppolo and Mr. Hendrickson could also face a Democratic challenge in November.
After the nominations—Mr. Laraway by Mr. Hendrickson and Mr. Coppolo by Gloria Youmans—the two supervisor candidates took the floor for about a minute each.
“Most of you know me…I want to work for you and move Middleburgh forward,” Mr. Laraway said.
“I’m a Middleburgh boy. I know Middleburgh problems—problems we need to address. I want to get a good town board that works well for you,” with any decisions on spending considering the impact on taxpayers first.
Mr. Coppolo spoke on his experience as a first-term supervisor on both the town and Schoharie County level.
“I think I’ve done a good job,” he said. “I’ve worked well with the village on shared services and the fire department…”
At the county level, he said, “there are major, major problems with the streambank project…I’m trying to make sure they don’t bankrupt us, but it doesn’t look good.”
Mr. Coppolo also pointed to the MEVAC building as a post-flood project that’s moving ahead.
People continued to trickle into the 7pm caucus until 7:20, when any new arrivals were cut off so voting by the 126 registered Republicans on hand could begin.
After the supervisor’s race results were tallied, Mr. Laraway promised he wouldn’t let the crowd down.
“This is pretty humbling,” he said. “I won’t let you down. Thank you Pete for everything you’ve done. I hope you consider running for a seat on the board.”
Mr. Laraway is a longtime teacher at MCS and a well-known wildlife rehabilitator.
He ran as an independent in last spring’s special Assembly election for the seat now held by Chris Tague.
Also nominated was incumbent justice Mike Guntert, who’s served in the post for more than 11 years and said he still enjoys the job.
Mr. Guntert was unopposed.