PLATTSBURGH — Fending off a spirited challenge from a third-party candidate, James Calnon is the apparent winner in the City of Plattsburgh mayoral race.
“I’m grateful to the voters for their expression of support for me,” a happy Calnon said Tuesday night at Meron’s, his campaign headquarters. “It feels pretty good.”
Calnon, running as a Republican, led independent candidate Chris Rosenquest by 444 votes in the unofficial tally at the end of the night.
Calnon had 1,816 votes and Rosenquest 1,372. Democrat Mark Tiffer finished third with 794 votes.
There are also still potentially 603 absentee ballots that could be counted next week.
‘I CAN DELIVER’
Calnon said that while voters are concerned about taxes, they also want more development.
“The message that my opponents were focusing on about development is something else they were very concerned about,” Calnon said.
“The difference in our approach was that I was presenting a plan that said, look, we will do what we can afford to do and not just pave the streets with gold and expect that something magical will happen. So I think the voters have some confidence that I can deliver.”
Calnon said one of his first priorities will be to start conversations and spend more time working with city unions and department heads and surrounding municipalities.
“Let’s start there by talking,” he said.
With five newcomers and one returnee apparently landing council seats, Calnon said he was not worried about governing with his new colleagues.
“All the folks that got elected bring something to the table; it will be a little more politically diverse than the past couple years, but that’s great,” he said.
“We will get some good discussions going, get some compromises in the middle, and we will make some things happen.”
Rosenquest, who moved to the area last spring after living in the Midwest and Seattle for the past 14 years, commanded a late charge in the final two weeks of the campaign to make it a close race.