Kenney Wins Executive Council Seat To Replace Burton

Mar 12, 2014

Joe Kenney at Wednesday morning's Executive Council session.
Credit Josh Rogers

In a race that was too close to call Tuesday night, Republican Joe Kenney declared victory this morning in a special election to fill the vacant District 1 Executive Council seat.

He fills the seat left vacant by longtime North Country Executive Councilor Ray Burton, who died late last year.

Kenney took 51 percent of the vote, just enough to defeat Democrat and Grafton County Commissioner Mike Cryans.

The Secretary of State’s office released the results Wednesday morning.

The former state Senator says priorities will be roads and jobs, as well as putting a spotlight on the North Country’s economy.

“I’m looking forward to working with the DRED commissioner and other commissioners in setting up a North Country economic development summit, so we push state leaders into the northern part of this district.”

Kenney’s victory doesn’t shift the balance of power on the council, which approves state contracts and gubernatorial appointees.

Democrats will still hold a 3-2 majority when Kenney is sworn in at the next meeting.

District 1 consists of 108 towns and four cities in the northern part of the state, from the Lakes Region to the Canadian border.

Kenney arrived at Wednesday morning’s Executive Council meeting to observe.  He called himself the "comeback kid" and said he's eager to take office.

“I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get moving and start helping out the district.  The seat’s been vacant for many months.  And we’ve got a lot of work to do and I need their help, because I’m replacing a legend.  I really did a lot of work for my state senate seat and he did a lot of work for his district and I want to expound upon that and really help people in the district.”