While the mayoral primary has drawn plenty of attention, the eight candidates running for four seats on the village council have been quietly organizing their campaigns for the general election on April 17.
According to the candidates, absent from this year’s race is the formation of slates, in which individuals link their campaigns in hopes of improving their chances. Incumbent Commissioner Mark Hosty was part of a slate four years ago that included three incumbents and was supported by Mayor Anthony Calderone. However, only two candidates on the slate, Hosty and Commissioner Tim Gillian, were elected as Patrick Doolin and Theresa Steinbach won the other two seats on the village council.
This year, Hosty said, is a different race.
“It’s kind of every man for himself,” Hosty said.
Candidate Anthony Lazzara said he too is running on his own. However, Lazzara said it would be beneficial to have Hosty re-elected, if for nothing else, his experience on the council. Lazzara also pointed to candidates Michael Curry and Rory Hoskins as people with whom he is familiar, and said their election could benefit the community.
“I see these guys as positive people who would definitely benefit the village council,” Lazzara said.
Hosty, Lazzara, Curry, and Hoskins are perceived by some to be aligned with Calderone. Hosty has endorsed Calderone and makes no bones about working actively on the mayor’s behalf in the days leading up to the primary. Lazzara said he is generally supportive of Calderone and the job he has done as mayor. Curry, the chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, made a $300 contribution to Citizens for Anthony Calderone on Nov. 11, 2006, according to state records.
Curry said he bought four tickets for a Calderone fundraising event, but that he is not formally endorsing anyone in the mayor’s race.
“Several people I know thought it would be a good opportunity to meet the mayor and other people in the community so I paid for them to attend,” Curry said.
Hoskins has said he is not endorsing anyone for mayor and plans to seek the endorsement of all three mayoral candidates. Hoskins is a member of the village’s traffic and safety commission.
Candidate John Plepel said he is running an independent campaign and as such looks for ways to draw attention to himself. He wears a yellow fleece jacket embroidered with an announcement of his candidacy.
“I wear it just about any time I leave the house, as often as I can,” Plepel said.
He has ordered a few additional jackets for supporters of his to wear and has also started a blog. Plepel said he is not aware of any slates.
“I haven’t heard of any slates that I know of,” Plepel said. “I know that I am not personally running with any of the other candidates. I haven’t formed any alliances.”
Carl Nyberg, who has been openly critical of Calderone, said there are rumors the two-term mayor is forming a slate, but he hasn’t seen that.
“If there are alliances being worked out I don’t have specific information about that,” Nyberg said.
Jerry Webster and Martin Tellalian are also running for seats on the village council.
Thus far the race for village council has been noticeably free of personal antagonism, but few of the candidates have gone beyond platitudes at this point. With the mayoral primary behind us, the candidates will likely begin to flesh out their positions and begin drawing distinctions between themselves and the other challengers.
“None of us are fighting,” Curry said. “It’s refreshing, it’s nice.”