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  • Writer's pictureMantello Press

Mantello makes history in Troy as first female mayor

After eight years, Troy voters have elected a Republican to take over the mayor’s office.

City Council President Carmella Mantello defeated Democratic Rensselaer County Legislator Nina Nichols in the race to replace two-term Democratic Mayor Patrick Madden, who is term limited.


Mantello, who will be the first woman to hold the office, says she wants to make the city run more smoothly and improve communication while avoiding tax hikes. According to results from the Rensselaer County Board of Elections, Mantello won about 55 percent of the vote to Nichols’ 45 percent.


Donning a baseball cap that reads “mayor,” a joyful Mantello spoke with WAMC shortly after declaring victory.


“I thank the voters of Troy for your trust, your support and your belief in our vision for a safer, cleaner, and more prosperous city,” Mantello said.


Mantello promises to replace aging and contaminated lead pipes throughout the city, vowing to make it one of her first priorities in office.


"We have some good projects in the works," Mantello said. "But I know our neighborhoods need real attention. Whether it be South Troy, North Central, Lansingburgh, South Troy, the East Side. We're going to really pay attention to our neighborhoods, they want to see their services, whether it be potholes, crosswalks, they want to see a plan and we're going to put that together and we're going to show Troy what Troy is really about."


The victory capped a long but steady rise in city politics for the daughter of a former Troy police officer. Having fallen short in previous efforts to run for mayor, Mantello spent the past two terms in the citywide post of city council president.


The former director of the state’s Canal Corporation says one of her first orders of business is improving morale among city employees while being a “hands-on” mayor. Mantello says refocusing attention on neighborhoods and businesses within the city will foster more community support and involvement.


“We're gonna strengthen our infrastructure,” Mantello said. “We're gonna clean our water and the vicious cycle of violence that have wrecked lives and sows deep the seeds of despair. We're gonna change that.”


At a debate earlier this fall, students from Lansingburgh High School stressed their concerns relating to safety in the city. Mantello says building student-officer relationships through programs like Park Walk and Talk could help form trust.


Rival Nichols, a former city councilor, campaigned heavily on making the city more environmentally friendly and hiring more administrative staff to address looming problems across the city.


“I know my supporters are people that care passionately about this city and I know that they will continue to make their voices heard and to work on things that are important to them and together we will make this an even better Troy,” Nichols said.


Mantello says Madden has failed to fully realize the potential of the city’s nearly 8-mile stretch of waterfront. She says it’s key to economic development for the entire city, not just downtown.


Replacing Mantello as council president will be Democratic Councilor Sue Steele of District 3. Steele had a roughly 51 to 48 percent lead over Republican Brad Lewis.

“I can get along with anyone,” Steele said. “I believe in collaboration and compromise. So, I'm going to really work very hard.”


Six city council seats were on the ballot as a majority of incumbents did not seek re-election.

William Keal, a Republican, beat Democrat Peggy Kownack in District 1. In District 2, Republican Ryan Brosnan takes the seat over Democrat Shikole Struber. Katie Spain McLaren, a Democrat, won District 3 by a landslide over Republican Beth Wright Clemente. In District 4, Democrat Aaron Vera triumphed over Republican Darcie Cunningham Casey. Incumbent Republican Irene Sorriento, currently of District 6, won in District 5 after redistricting beating Tiffani Silverman. And in District 6, Republican Thomas Casey beat Democrat Carol Harvin.


Elsewhere in Rensselaer County, replacing Republican County Sheriff Patrick Russo will be fellow Republican Kyle Bourgault, who defeated former Troy Police Chief Brian Owens.

“I'm just so glad it worked out the way it did. It's been a long year. And you know, we're super excited to get to work,” Bourgault said.

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