By HEATHER NELLIS
FONDA — By just 10 votes, Democrat Terry Bieniek eked out a win for the Montgomery County District 5 legislator post over Republican Daniel Wilson, according to unofficial results.
The Board of Elections opened absentee ballots Tuesday. They mirrored the tight race’s results from Election Day, when Bieniek had just a nine vote lead that increased to 11 after affidavit votes were counted Friday.
“I think it’s quite an accomplishment, in a Republican district, in an election with a strong Republican showing, to come out the winner,” Bieniek said. “I think it shows I have some Republican support.”
The district represents the town of Florida, part of the city of Amsterdam's 5th Ward, the western portion of the town of Amsterdam (including Fort Johnson) and the eastern portion of the town of Mohawk on the county’s new nine-district Legislature.
“I think my opponent ran a heck of a good race,” continued Bieniek, an outgoing Amsterdam town councilman. He’s formerly the county’s Buildings and Grounds Department supervisor, who owns a small business with his wife. “I’m really excited. I’m going to try to get together with the other elected officials, and hopefully get working.”
Wilson said he’s disappointed.
“What a heartbreak,” Wilson said. But, he won fair and square.”
Wilson is the outgoing councilman for the Florida town board, but says he will try again for election as a legislator in the future, and maybe even the council at the same time. He said there’s a Rensselaer County legislator who also serves a town board, and he’d like to do the same.
“I’m sad I had to throw in the towel [on the council],” Wilson said. “I liked being a councilman very much. We got along, and we got business done.”