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May 17, 2013

City Dems back mayor, council candidates

PLATTSBURGH — City of Plattsburgh Democrats have endorsed a full slate of candidates for this year’s Common Council election, but an incumbent is not among them, causing a stir.

Incumbent Councilor Timothy Carpenter of Ward 1 did not get the party’s backing at Tuesday night’s caucus in his bid for re-election.

The nod was instead given to Rachelle Armstrong, a local educator.

Carpenter was disappointed with the outcome and the process for endorsing candidates.

“It is apparent that the Democratic Party does not agree with my thoughts on fiscal responsibility,” he said.

PROCESS CRITICIZED

Carpenter feels it was wrong to allow everyone at the caucus to vote on each ward selection regardless of whether they lived in the ward.

He noted that several people showed up at the caucus who normally are not active in party politics.

City Democratic Chairman Joe Gittens confirmed that the party had only 15 committee members to vote beforehand but that at the meeting, 27 new committee members were sworn in and allowed to vote.

Carpenter also said the party should not have endorsed any candidates and should have let the election process play out in a primary.

“If people want to run, they can get their petitions in, and if there is a primary, then the people of each ward will decide, and the party can back the winner of the primary; that’s the way it should be,” he said.

Gittens said he agreed with Carpenter on that point, but the majority of the committee did not.

PETITIONS

Candidates can begin circulating petitions to run on June 4 and have until July 11 to file them. Each candidate must obtain the signatures of 5 percent of voters registered in their party in each ward.

For mayor, signatures of 5 percent of the entire city in the same party are needed.

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