PLATTSBURGH — The two most anticipated primary races in Clinton County this year feature battles for two City of Plattsburgh Common Council seats.
Timothy Carpenter will face Rachelle Armstrong for the Democratic Party line in Ward 1 of the city, and Justin Meyer will go up against Kathryn McCleery for the Democratic line in Ward 3.
There will also be a primary in Ward 6 for the Independence Party. James Wemette is the listed candidate, and voters can choose him or write in any other name.
WARD 1 MATCH
The Ward 1 race is perhaps the most interesting, as newcomer Armstrong won the party endorsement at a caucus in March over incumbent Carpenter in a move that surprised many.
Carpenter was elected in 2007 and again in 2010. He ran for State Assembly last year but lost.
The winner of Tuesday’s primary, with 738 registered Democrats in Ward 1, will face Republican William Ferris in November.
Armstrong said she got into the race because “I felt I could do a better job.”
A retired educator, she said her strengths are her willingness to engage people and to research issues to find the best possible solutions.
“There seems to be more and more concerns about the city and the direction it is going in,” she said.
“We need to be innovative and resourceful about ways to bring more money into the city.”
As far as the possibility of dividing the party by taking on an incumbent, Armstrong said she is not concerned.
“I hope that we can find some common ground in all of this,” she said. “But I also think that this is indicative of a healthy democracy, that we have competing ideas.”
Carpenter, a state correction officer, said he believes he has proven himself in his time on the council and has been fiscally responsible in helping keep taxes stable.