Doty takes lead in North Elba super race

Derek Doty, right, signs in to vote on Election Day at the North Elba Town House in Saranac Lake Tuesday morning. (Enterprise photo — Lauren Yates)

LAKE PLACID — Unofficial election results show that Derek Doty is in the lead in the race for North Elba town supervisor over incumbent Jay Rand.

Including votes cast during the early voting period and on Election Day, Doty garnered 811 votes to Rand’s 741 votes, leaving Doty with a 70-vote lead. The Essex County Board of Elections sent out 134 absentee ballots to voters in North Elba. The county Board of Elections will open and count absentee ballots in a few days.

While the results haven’t been certified yet, Doty, who ran on the Democratic line, and Rand, who ran on the Republican line, started facing the possibility of a Doty win on Tuesday night.

Doty said he didn’t want to get too excited before official results rolled in, but he said, “I don’t even think I’m gonna sleep tonight.”

He said that if he wins, it could make history in the town.

“There has never been a Democratic supervisor in the history of North Elba, much less a supervisor from the Saranac Lake end — it’s never happened,” he said.

He said he’ll take it a day at a time, and that he’s proud of the Democratic committee for being more organized this year than in years past. Doty has run for North Elba supervisor twice before — he lost to Rand in 2019 and to Roby Politi in 2011.

Rand said he expected Doty to beat him “as he normally does” in North Elba’s districts in Saranac Lake, but he was surprised that the race was so close in Districts 1, 3 and 4, which he said, “are generally my real strong areas.”

“But, you know, life goes on,” he said.

Rand said he’s waiting for the official results, but he’s proud of what he’s accomplished as town supervisor throughout the pandemic and with affordable housing in the area.

“If Derek is declared the official winner, certainly I’ll congratulate him and wish him well, and I’ll have a lot more time for skiing,” he said.

Doty said this election could be a wake-up call for Republicans in the town, because he believes that the majority Democratic vote could prove that locals “want something different.”

But he said he doesn’t want to “gloat” until he’s actually won.

“I guess I’ll live in the glory tonight, even if I lose it tomorrow,” he said.

Newly-elected town councilors Jason Leon and Richard Preston ran unopposed, with Leon garnering 1,025 votes and Preston receiving 933 votes. Councilor Jack Favro, whose term ends on Dec. 31, did not run for re-election. Incumbent Town Justice Dean Dietrich also ran for reelection unopposed.

This is a breaking news story. More information will be added to this story as it becomes available.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today