By HEATHER NELLIS
FONDA — Republican Matthew Agresta’s election as the city of Amsterdam’s controller was affirmed today, as his lead over Democrat Irene Collins couldn’t be toppled by absentee ballots opened at the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
Agresta ended up winning by 93 votes, according to the unofficial results.
Agresta had an 84 vote lead over Collins, between Election Day results, and affidavit votes counted Friday. Collins picked up 62 absentee votes Tuesday, but Agresta secured another 71 votes.
“I would like to congratulate Irene; she ran a great campaign, and it was a close race,” Agresta said. “I’m excited, and ready to get to work as soon as possible.”
Collins, who is in her 50s, and has more than 30 years of accounting experience, said she learned campaigning is a lot of work.
“I didn’t mind. I’m sorry that I lost, because I do have the experience that the city needs,” Collins said. “On the other hand, I wish Matt the best of luck. I’d tell him, ‘Don’t be afraid to ask questions,’ because he’s going to need all the help he can get.”
Agresta, 29, has a degree in finance, but has yet to work in the field professionally. He’s currently the assistant manager of a residential facility with Liberty ARC; a job he’ll have to quit with some immediacy.
Once results are certified, Agresta will be sworn into office. He won’t have to wait until Jan. 1 like other electives, as his election fulfills the vacancy created by the untimely death of former Controller Ronald Wierzbicki late last year.
Wierzbicki defeated Agresta for the seat in the 2011 election.
Democratic Election Commissioner Jamie Duchessi said results can be certified once the board finishes counting absentee ballots, and military ballots, which can be received no later than Nov. 18.
The board will finish opening absentee ballots Wednesday, then open military ballots, and finish tabulating all the results.
Agresta intends to visit City Hall Wednesday to start organizing things, and while he waits for the votes to be certified, will resign from his current employment.
“Before I start, I’m going to get as much information as possible,” Agresta said.
This was Collins’ first attempt at elected office, but it likely won’t be her last, she said.
“I think I’d run again [for controller]. I have the experience, and it’s something I would like to do. We’ll see what the future holds.”