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With Primary Day rapidly approaching, I figure it’s time to lay some odds on the three-way Democratic Party primary for Rensselaer County judge. I’d say the favorite has to be Troy Judge Chris Maier since he has the most name recognition and he lives in from the largest city in the county where, logically, the most Democrats live. He’s also done a pretty decent job of heading up the busiest court in the county since 2004. After checking with Vegas, I’ll give him a 3 to 1 shot of winning the primary. City of Rensselaer Judge Carmello Laquidara got a boost when the courts knocked his fellow judge, Kathleen Robichaud, off the ballot for lack of signatures since there are a bunch of Democrats in his hometown and he no longer has to split them with another judge from the same spot. He also is way out front as far as fundraising goes with more than $44,000 in the bank as of last month’s filing — Maier is second with $3,986 and the third candidate, attorney Brian Premo, has not filed a disclosure report with the state Board of Elections. Because of that, after checking with Vegas, I’ll give Laquidara a 6 to 1 shot. Which brings us to Premo. He’s a relatively high profile attorney who’s name recognition got a big bump with his latest client, BOE Commissioner Ed McDonough, who should be going to trial soon for a host of felonies related to his alleged role in voter fraud. When the trial starts is anyone’s guess but it could come before Primary Day on Sept. 13. If it happens between now and then a multi-week trial would severely cut into his time on the campaign trail. It won’t last as long as the last trial — where the jury failed to reach a verdict for McDonough and his co-defendant, former Councilman Michael LoPorto — but it will still take some time. Because of that, and some insight from Vegas, I’ll give Premo a 10 to 1 shot of winning the primary. Those odds, of course, will change should McDonough get convicted before Primary Day not only because Premo is his attorney but also because I’m pretty sure McDonough it working on Premo’s judicial campaign. Meanwhile, the only Republican in the race, Debra Young, secured the Working Families Party Line which means, along with the GOP, Conservative and Independence parties, she will have four lines for the general election in November. It’s nice having four lines, but whenever a candidate gets multiple lines it works as a reminder that, at least at the local level, the minor parties are a sham and really don’t stand for anything outside of tricking voters into voting on that line. Speaking of the WFP, Robichaud is the only Democrat to file a petition seeking that line which is surprising since only 58 valid signatures are needed. She didn’t get the 58 and her petition was bounced by the court but the WFP line can be worth 5 percent of the vote in November to it’s worth a primary. Especially for a judicial candidate because they don’t have to be a member of the party or get the party’s permission to run — they just have to get enough signatures. McDonald makes a complaint Sen. Roy McDonald filed a complaint with the Fair Campaign Practices of the Capital Region, Inc. last week claiming the team of his primary opponent, Kathy Marchione, failed to identify the source of campaign literature and for inaccurately citing a newspaper article in another mail piece. I haven’t seen the pieces the McDonald camp is talking about but I don’t doubt his complaints are valid. One of Marchione’s main guys is Ken Girardin, who ran Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin’s campaign against Tim Gordon a few years ago. Girardin is the guy responsible for hiding out in the bushes and video taping Gordon stealing McLaughlin campaign signs. Of course, the signs were placed on the lawn of one of Gordon’s neighbors just to egg him into stealing them but that’s besides the point. It was a nifty move, if not a little shady, and it made Gordon look foolish. So, that’s one reason why I don’t doubt McDonald’s complaints are valid. I’m not sure what, if anything, the Fair Campaign Practices of the Capital Region can do about it outside of saying “you shouldn’t do that.” Chelsea in Chatham Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, is moving to Chatham. I’m not exactly sure where in the Columbia County town she and her husband, Mark Mazvinsky, are moving but I’m told it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 acres. I know, not really local political news but I thought it was an interesting tidbit. This week’s Talespin was written by James V. Franco. He can be reached at 478-5343 or by email at

Talespin: Odds on the judicial primary

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