Bill Keeler has officially won the primary to serve another term as the Democratic mayor of Cohoes.
It took about three hours for the Albany County Board of Elections to count absentee ballots Tuesday in the disputed race between incumbent Mayor Shawn Morse and Keeler, a retired State Police major, for the Democratic nomination.
Keeler came into Tuesday with a lead over Morse of a little more than 100 votes. That lead grew slightly after Tuesday’s count.
"Going door to door throughout this campaign, I got the sense that three out of four doors were looking for change," says Keeler.
Recently, Keeler had called on Morse to step down before his term ends, citing the fact that Morse faces federal charges tied to prior misuse of campaign funds. Keeler restated that call on Tuesday morning after the absentee vote.
Morse's campaign defended his innocence and explained that he has no plans to step down.
"Our opponents weren't really running against each other. They were running against Shawn. When you have that, it's almost like a gang fight," said campaign manager Tom Scarff.
The ballot count also left the race for Cohoes' Fifth Ward Council seat tied.
According to County Board of Elections officials, that race between Kathleen Donovan and Adam Biggs may move to a new election. Keeler says he's not expected to have any surprises during the fall election, as there are no Republican challengers.