Republicans in Cooperstown are still searching for a candidate to run for mayor. In the meantime, party members have selected Vince Casale, the chairman of the Otsego County Republican Party, as a placeholder candidate.
“It’s pretty common,” said Casale, on the decision to select a placeholder candidate for mayor, noting that the village Democrats initially nominated a placeholder last year, Richard Abbate, for a Board of Trustees seat.
That nomination was eventually given to Democrat Joan Nichols, who ran unopposed.
Cooperstown Republicans met in a sparsely attended caucus on Jan. 23, to select candidates for the upcoming village elections on March 18, where Mayor Jeff Katz, trustee Lou Allstadt and Deputy Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, will be up for re-election. Katz and Tillapaugh are Democrats while Allstadt is an independent.
All three were re-nominated on Tuesday at the Democratic caucus held at the Village Fire Department. Allstadt is the only candidate to be cross-nominated this year.
The caucus opened with Lynn Krogh being nominated for and approved as caucus secretary. Village Republican chairman Mike Trosset then asked for any nominations for the position of mayor, but his request was followed by silence.
“I know we do have some individuals who may still be interested, and they couldn’t make it tonight,” said Casale.
Casale said that the party had an option to nominate a placeholder candidate while another candidate was sought. Trosset asked if anyone was interested in being a placeholder and Casale agreed to be nominated.
If another candidate is found, Casale said there would have to be a declination, after which the party’s committee on vacancies would fill the seat. The deadline for finding a new candidate is Feb. 3.
Allstadt was nominated and approved unanimously. The caucus endorsed no candidate to run against Tillapaugh
“I’m an independent, I think it’s important to have people that are willing to look at both sides of the issue,” said Allstadt, who added that he that he appreciated the Republican endorsement.
In 2013, Allstadt won election to a one-year term to fill an unexpired vacancy. He was nominated by the Democrats. He had sought the Republican nomination as well, but failed to receive it because he arrived at their caucus too late.