The city of Plattsburgh elected a new mayor Tuesday in a three-way race that featured two independent candidates.
Earlier this year, Plattsburgh Republican Mayor Don Kasprzak decided not to run for re-election. That triggered a three-way race for the top seat in the city between Ward 4 councilor and mayor pro-tem Independent Jim Calnon, Ward 2 Democrat Mark Tiffer, and Independent Chris Rosenquest.
Calnon, an independent who was endorsed by the Republicans, won with 46 percent of the vote to Rosenquest’s 34 percent and Tiffer’s 20 percent. 444 votes separate Calnon and Rosenquest. At his campaign headquarters, Calnon, in his typical pragmatic style, cautioned that there are still absentee ballots to be counted.
Calnon says during his campaign, he heard that costs, taxes and development are city residents’ primary concern and attributes his victory to his more practical approach to those issues.
Independent Chris Rosenquest returned to his hometown from Seattle to run for mayor. Initially criticized as a carpetbagger, his campaign sparked interest from a broad constituency.
Rosenquest says his campaign highlighted the real and latent potential of Plattsburgh.
Democrat, Mark Tiffer, was far behind his two opponents, 14 percent behind Rosenquest and trailing winner Calnon by 26 percent. County Democratic Chair Marty Mannix believes the three-way race was detrimental for Tiffer’s campaign.
Mayor-elect Calnon praises his opponents and hopes they will remain engaged with city issues.
Plattsburgh’s new mayor will be sworn in on January 1st for a three-year term. Current Mayor Don Kasprzak was first elected to that office in 2007.