2 Republicans Would Primary On 6/22;
So Far, Mark Drnek Is Sole Democrat
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – Republicans Len Carson and Craig Gelbsman confirmed today they intended to run for mayor to succeed incumbent Gary Herzig, a Democrat, at the end of the year.
If both candidates continue, it would ensure a Republican candidate June 22. A primary may also be shaping up on the Democratic side.
Common Council member Mark Drnek announced Wednesday he is running for mayor as a Democrat. Republicans said they’ve heard of a second Democratic possibility, which would cause a primary for that party as well.
- Carson, a current Council member and former county board, said “I’m in” when contacted this morning. He said he is talking to other Republicans and building a campaign, and a formal announcement will be forthcoming. A retired captain in the city Fire Department, he has also served at commander of Oneonta’s American Legion Post 259.
- Gelbsman, also a former county board member, said “I’m ready to run,” when reached this afternoon. He said he hopes to “carry on the legacy of the past mayors, Nader, Brenner, Muller, Nader, Miller and even Herzig. They’ve done good things. I’ll try to expand on what they’ve done. He is owner of First Choice Cleaners, and also Rage Productions, a concert producer and entertainment buyer.
Herzig, 71, mayor for the past six years, announced Tuesday that he would not run again. He cited changed in the elections calendar, which would require his prospective successors to begin circulating petitions as early as next Tuesday.