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November 7, 2013

Clinton County has more than 1,100 absentee ballots to count

(Continued)

The closest race appears to be in Ward 5 of the City of Plattsburgh Common Council. Republican Bruce Lawson leads Democrat Becky Kasper by just 4 votes.

There were 39 absentee ballots to be counted in that district as of Wednesday, Campbell said.

Lawson was not declaring victory, and Kasper was not conceding.

Overall in the city, 366 absentee ballots were received as of Wednesday.

In the mayoral race, Republican candidate James Calnon leads independent candidate Chris Rosenquest by 444 votes.

“It may seem clinched, but (it’s) not official,” Calnon said.

BUDGET PLANNING ON TAP

Calnon, the councilor from Ward 4 and the city’s budget officer as mayor pro tem, said the council will get to work next week on budget planning for 2014.

“The plan all along has been to incorporate the councilors-elect into the process and get them involved,” he said.

The new councilors will vote on the budget plan after they take office on Jan. 1, 2014.

“I am looking forward to it,” Calnon said.

“I think we are going to see some good stuff that is going to happen.”

BALLOTS UNDER SCRUTINY

In the Ward 2 race, Democrat Michael Kelly leads Republican Michael Drew by 20 votes. There are 32 absentees to be counted in that race.

Drew said on election night that it would be hard to overcome that margin with the absentees, even though hope remained.

In Area 8 of the Clinton County Legislature race, Republican incumbent Mark Dame leads Democrat Robert Dolan by 192 votes. There are 223 absentees in that race so far.

The absentee ballots in that contest came under scrutiny, as Dame and other Republicans charged that some of them may have been inappropriately filled out at the behest of Working Family Party supporters.

Working Family Party officials have denied any wrongdoing.

All candidates have the right to challenge absentee and affidavit ballots when they are opened.

“I think it will tighten somewhat with what went on,” Dame said.

“We are researching the process for protesting ballots that we might think are invalid.”

Campbell said that if there are many challenges, it could be a while before the election results are made official and certified.

Email Joe LoTemplio:jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com

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