The Election Season Is Beginning Early And Doesn’t Appear To Bode Well

As some background, the local primaries have been moved up significantly creating a bit of a scramble for some.

 New York State used to hold its primaries in the fall.  In 2012 the Federal Government requested that New York move the primaries for US Senate and the House of Representatives up to June in order to insure that military and overseas ballots had sufficient time to be received and counted.  At the time the State Legislature considered moving the state primaries up to the same June date.  The New York State Assembly controlled by the Democrats supported the change but the Senate where the Republicans were in control rejected the change.  The Republicans argued that because the legislative session ran through June, they would not have enough time to campaign. 

 According to an excellent article in the New York Times  that explains all this, “New York’s bifurcated primaries, however, have caused the state to spend millions of dollars more; at the same time, having two separate primaries can also suppress voter interest, election law experts and state officials say.”  The Times story goes into more detail about other problems with having primaries occur on two different dates.

 So in January when the Democrats took over the New York Senate they passed a package of reforms which included adjusting the dates for state primaries.  According to a January 10 article in the New York Times :

The proposals are a veritable wish list for those who have blamed New York’s laws for driving down voter turnout. The measures include allowing early voting, preregistration of 16- and 17-year-olds and consolidating state and federal primary elections, which are now held in different months.”

 “Lawmakers also plan to pass bills to allow vote-by-mail and same-day voter registration, though those proposals will also require voter referendums — and passage by the next Legislature, scheduled to be seated in 2021 — as they change the State Constitution.”

 The legislature is also considering bill to limit the contributions and require reporting for LLC’s.  These are Limited Liability Corporations which have been used to hide the ownership of these LLC’s while allowing large contributions.

 So all primary elections this year will be on June 25th.  This means that candidates will be able to start circulating petitions on February 26.  The petitions must be submitted to the local board of elections between April 1 and April 4.

 The Saratoga Springs Democratic Party has set up a committee to consider endorsements.  The committee is in the process of interviewing candidates, and the City Democratic Committee will vote on endorsements on Saturday, February 23.

So Who May Be Running For Saratoga Springs City Council Seats In The Upcoming November Election?

 Here is the latest information I have on the Democratic field of candidates.  I assume that all the council seats will be contested in the coming primary.

Definitely Running:

Meg Kelly – Mayor

John Franck – Accounts

Michele Madigan – Finance

Eileen Finneran – Public Safety

Skip Scirocco (Republican) – Public Works

 Extremely Likely To Be Running:

Dylan Moran – Public Works

 Rumored to Be Running:

Bob Turner – Mayor

Billy McTygue – Accounts

Kendall Hicks – Public Safety


An Exchange With Shafer Gaston That Suggests What The Primaries and Elections May Be Like

 To Shafer Gaston from John Kaufmann on January 9 at 3:39 PM

I was told that you had solicited Ron Kim to run for mayor.  I wanted to confirm whether that is true.

To John Kaufmann from Shafer Gaston on February 9 at 3:59 PM

It is true.  He declined.

To Shafer Gaston from John Kaufmann on February 9 at 7:18 PM

 Interested in why you are seeking someone to replace Mayor Kelly

 To John Kaufmann from Shafer Gaston on February 9 at 7:21 PM

 At the time, Mayor Kelly had not announced she was running for re-election.  Unfortunately, due to the compressed timeline that few people were expecting, if there were going to be candidates for city offices they would need to announce much earlier (and therefore be approached much earlier) than in previous years to make the timeline.

 To Shafer Gaston from John Kaufmann on February 9 at 7:43 PM

 Why wouldn’t you check with her first?

To John Kaufmann from Shafer Gaston on February 9 at 8:42 PM

 On the other hand, why would I check with her first?