PLATTSBURGH — City of Plattsburgh Republicans have endorsed their slate of candidates, setting up full-scale battles for the Common Council and mayoral races.
Mayor Pro Tem James Calnon has changed his mind about retiring and will run for mayor as the Republican candidate.
“We’ve had a difficult six years budget-wise, and we’ve had to deal with a host of things that were out of our control, and I am afraid that without someone with the experience of having been through all of these hard times, it could all unravel in a short period of time,” Calnon said.
He will face Democrat Mark Tiffer, the councilor from Ward 2, unless other candidates emerge.
‘THE BEST PERSON’
Calnon, 63, has been the Ward 4 councilor and mayor pro tem since 2007. He is retired from the Workforce Investment Board, a multi-county agency serving area employment needs.
As mayor pro tem, he serves as the council’s budget officer.
Calnon had said as recently as two days ago that he would not be running again. But he changed his mind and was given the Republican endorsement at Thursday night’s party caucus.
A registered independent voter, Calnon also had the Republican endorsement when he ran for council re-election in 2010.
“We went with the best person for the job not just the best Republican,” Party Chairman Richard Cantwell said.
“He certainly has the experience and has done a great job as mayor pro tem and as budget officer, and we see him as being able to continue the work that has been done, and he will offer a smooth transition and the next step in fiscal responsibility.”
Mayor Donald Kasprzak announced in April that he would not be seeking another term.
Tiffer, 29, was endorsed by city Democrats last week. A safety supervisor at United Parcel Service, he has served as the Ward 2 councilor since 2010.