Dems Bar Dems from Attending Candidate Endorsement Meeting

In a process marked by cronyism and secrecy the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee voted to endorse all the current members of the City Council. The endorsements took place on Saturday, February 18, in a meeting closed to other Democrats including the Saratoga County Democratic Chair. Elections for the city’s Mayor and four Commissioners as well as for two County Supervisors will be held this November.

The Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee established a nominating committee to recommend to the full committee Democratic candidates to run in the upcoming 2023 local city election. The committee was chaired by Patty Morrison and included Joanne Yepsen, Al Ormsby, Pat Tuz, and Meaghan McEntee.

The process was fraught with cronyism from the very beginning. Before the nominating committee was even formed, Committee Chair Pat Tuz and others in leadership positions were casually openly sharing that the decision had already been made to endorse all of the incumbents (Kim, Moran, Sanghvi, Golub, and Montagnino) to run again for their City Council positions.

In spite of this, three other Democrats filled out the committee’s questionnaire and were interviewed by the nominating committee. They were:

Former Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathiesen who interviewed for Mayor

Retired FBI agent Tim Coll who interviewed for the Commissioner of Public Safety position

Former Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan who interviewed for one of the two County Supervisor positions

None of the three were endorsed by the nominating committee. All three requested the opportunity to address the full Democratic Committee. All three were told no.

Here is the email Madigan sent to Pat Tuz requesting the opportunity to speak to the full committee:

Hi Pat,

I received a call today from Patty, on behalf of the endorsement council, that I will not be recommended to the full committee for an endorsement. I am disappointed and was hoping to present to the full committee. I have heard that I was presented to the county committee to run for supervisor, but I’m not sure if this means anything to the city committee.

Basically, I’m asking if I may please present to the committee. I am a 5 time endorsed democratic candidate who has won all my general elections overwhelmingly. I truly believe I am a benefit to the committee versus running on my own as a free agent.

Additionally, I think Chris Mathiesen should be allowed to present too.  He is a lifetime democrat, 6 years elected and endorsed city commissioner, and 11 years and chair of the zoning board of appeals.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you,

Pat Tuz did not reply to Madigan’s email.

Jane Weihe (full disclosure-Jane is my wife) emailed Pat Tuz regarding other Democrats attending the Committee’s endorsement meeting.


When and where will the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee be meeting to make endorsements for candidates for this year’s City Council races? I know the County Committee meetings are open to all Democrats although only Committee members can participate in the meeting of course. I am assuming your committee follows the same procedures. A number of Democrats would like to observe your committee’s endorsement process. Looking  forward to hearing from you.


Jane was the chair of the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee for over a decade. She also served as Saratoga County Chair and was a member of the New York State Democratic Committee. She twice ran for local office on the Democratic ticket. Pat Tuz did not reply to her email.

In addition, multiple sources have told us that Martha DeVaney, Saratoga County Democratic Chair, showed up for the meeting and was turned away.

The past practice of the city committee and the current practice of the Saratoga County Democratic Committee has been to allow any registered Democrat to attend their meetings. Only committee members can participate in the meeting, but any Democrat is welcome to observe. In addition, past city committees have not only allowed all candidates, whether endorsed by a nominating committee or not, to address the full committee, but nominations from the floor were also allowed. In fact, Patty Morrison, who chaired this year’s nominating committee, was allowed a few years ago to address a full committee meeting and ask for support to run for Finance Commissioner even though she had not bothered to go through any of the nominating process.

All this is particularly ironic given the last local campaign when Democrats portrayed themselves as the bulwark of democracy defending the city against an alleged threat posed by our local Republicans. Remember their campaign signs that said, “Defend Democracy-Vote Democratic.” It is an interesting phenomenon that self-righteous groups tend to take on the characteristics of those they see as their enemies.

A Word about the County Supervisor Race

Saratogians elect two Supervisors to represent them on the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors. The Democrats could nominate two people to run but decided to only support Gordon Boyd, rejecting Michele Madigan as a Democratic candidate to run for the second seat. This makes no sense. They have basically decided to allow Republican Matt Veitch to run unopposed. For a group that likes to portray local Republicans as evil incarnate, this is a pretty interesting move on the part of the Democratic Committee.

A Cautionary Word About Signing Petitions

Anyone seeking to run for a political office must circulate petitions to get on the ballot. Voters cannot sign more than one petition for the same office.

In spite of rejection by the Democratic Committee, Chris Mathiesen intends to still run for Mayor, Tim Coll will still run for Public Safety Commissioner, and Michele Madigan will run for Supervisor. They will need to gather signatures on petitions to get on the ballot to give voters a choice.

Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee members will also be circulating petitions for these offices at the same time. Their petitions will have the names of the current office holders -Kim, Moran, Golub, Sanghvi, Montagnino, plus Gordon Boyd for Supervisor. If a voter signs this petition, they cannot sign the petitions of Tim Coll, Chris Mathiesen, or Michele Madigan.

YOU CAN ONLY SIGN ONE. Petitioning begins on February 28 and will continue into the spring, with Republicans and Democrats circulating first. Petitions for candidates running on independent lines will follow later.

Anyone interested in supporting the three candidates (Mathiesen, Coll, Madigan) challenging the endorsed Democrats should decline to sign the petitions circulated on behalf of the incumbents.

21 thoughts on “Dems Bar Dems from Attending Candidate Endorsement Meeting”

  1. Omg.  They are such hypocrites. Patty, Joanne and their merry crew fought endorsements before the primary.  Now its ok ?  Wow

    Todd M. Kerner, Esq.
    [JK: Todd Kerner is the past chair of the Saratoga County Democratic Committees]


    div dir=”ltr”>

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I may not be a full-time resident of Saratoga Springs now (only due to climate not based on my ongoing love of this city I will always consider home) yet, I’m appalled at the lack of ethics of the current group claiming to represent the Saratoga Springs Democrats. They do not! They represent themselves, have angled to gain control of the Dem Committee, and run it as a private campaign base for those only they determine to be worthy – or in other words, those who think as they do and will kiss the rings of certain members.

    Todd and John: Is there not an ethics policy in place that is being broken? This is not the first time they have gone against established procedures and ethics. When Morrison was allowed to primary Michele (who, at the time was the endorsed candidate) 4 years ago and still allowed to stay on the committee it broke several items in the committee rules. Every committee member who carried a petition for Morrison also went against what was agreed to when they joined the committee- to support the endorsed candidate (Madigan).

    Between that and my professional experiences with Yepsen, I guess I should not be surprised. Yet, I am still appalled. They have become nothing more than a bunch of Democrats who act more trumpians. Shame on them and everyone who continues to support them.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Apparently the committee has not taken a straw poll of the voters of Saratoga Springs. Most citizens are highly critical of the current City Council.

    Commissioner Golub has been doing a remarkable job and deserves to be re-elected.

    Commissioner Moran chose to endorse spot zoning and also chose to ignore the Comprehensive Plan in order to boast about creating affordable housing. The Liberty Development that he strongly backed will be a round peg in a square hole. Each apartment dweller will need a car since there are no stores within a mile of the development on Crescent Avenue. I will not vote for him.

    The other three need to go. I will heartily support the candidates that this blog endorses

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Does anyone want to run for Accounts or Finance?

    If you’re not a registered Democrat, there’s a provision in the election law called “Opportunity to Ballot” in which non-party members, including unaffiliated, can be nominated to run in a primary against the official party candidate. The petitions just have to be circulated under the aegis of a registered party member, in this case a Democrat. In addition, anyone who signs an OTB petition still has to be a registered Democrat and cannot sign any other petitions for that office.

    More details on request.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It is indicative of the current state of the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee that they would appoint Joanne Yepsen, the only elected official who has ever been found to violate the city ethics code, as a member of their nominating committee.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m not sure if it is impressive or sad how Yepsen continuously shows herself to be terrible at politics but remains deeply involved. Like you said, her involvement is the clearest sign yet that this group is headed for failure, hopefully before they do any more harm to the city’s reputation, infrastructure, or resident tax bill.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. Hallelujah on this MARDI GRAS day. There is still hope for Saratoga Springs! Long live Chris, Michele and Tim.! Thanks John for getting the word out.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. One of the reasons I’m not a Democrat anymore. I used to be the Democratic Party chairman in Northumberland back in the days of Farms First. This act smacks, no, it doesn’t smack. It IS backroom party cronyism.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for letting us know that John Ellis. If you sign my petition you can still sign Michele’s petition. In fact, I would encourage all Dems to sign Michele’s petition.

      Chris Mathiesen

      Liked by 5 people

    2. But, if you sign Kim’s you cannot sign Chris’. If you sign Monagnino’s, you cannot sign Coll’s. AND, they (Kim or Monagnino, or those carrying those petitions) will not tell you this and may even mislead you so you will sign there’s

      Liked by 2 people

  8. It is recalled that Title 12.3 of the City Charter changed how candidates for the city’s two seats on the Board of Supervisors are elected.

    There is no culling of the herd by primary or caucus, no longer are the two shown on the ballot as Seat A and Seat B. Rather the ballot must simply list all candidates who have successfully petitioned and the two highest vote getters, regardless of party, are elected.

    Thus any number of candidates can appear and the top two vote getters are seated. So if the Democratic Committee passed on nominating former commissioner Madigan to a seat and even denied her, as reported, an audience, it was likely done to eliminate a potential three way race that disfavored its chosen nominee.

    Michele was a proven vote getter, an effective legislator and colleague, and replaced the fiscal mismanagement of her predecessor with sound stewardship. She presented as a formable candidate and a likely winner. Probably at the expense of the Democrat.

    Michele simply needs to file a valid nominating petition and she will earn a place on the November ballot.

    Lew Benton

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There are 2 supervisor spots so any Dem can sign for Michele. Any Dem can also sign for Chris as long as they haven’t signed a petition for the incumbent.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Par for the coarse, I have heard Mr. Coll is extremely qualified and impressive. This current council is a mess and needs wholesale change before the City slips any further.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. The simplest message is: if you are a Democrat who wants to support Mathiesen, Coll, and Madigan do not sign the petition with the endorsed Democratic slate on it (Kim, Moran, Sanghvi, Montagnino, Golub, and Boyd) Most likely it will be a Democratic Committee member asking you to sign. Refusing will also help send a message to them that a lot of Dems are not happy with who they have chosen to run and how they chose them.
    This is the first time in the history of the city that Democrats have been in complete control, and these Democrats are making a total mess of it.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: