Politics and Elections

November 6, 2013

Democrats take control of City Council

PLATTSBURGH — If preliminary results hold up, the City of Plattsburgh Common Council will have five new faces and one returning one.

Democrats Rachelle Armstrong, Michael Kelly, Paul “Crusher” O’Connell and Joshua Kretser were the apparent winners, along with Republicans Dale Dowdle and Bruce Lawson.


Lawson’s race in Ward 5 was the closest, as he clung to a 4-vote lead over Democrat Becky Kasper by an unofficial count of 325 to 321. Potentially, at least three dozen or so absentee ballots remain to be counted.

“I would have rather have it decided tonight, but with the voter registration the way it is in this ward, I knew it was going to be an uphill battle, and Becky ran a thorough campaign,” Lawson said.

“But I would rather be ahead by 4 than behind by 4, at this point.

Kasper said she was pleased that she and Lawson ran positive campaigns.

“I thoroughly enjoyed learning about my ward,” she said.

Even if she loses the election, she is still co-director of public service at SUNY Plattsburgh, and one of that department’s missions is community development.

“Even if I’m not on the council, I can still serve the community in that capacity,” she said.


Armstrong, a Democrat, soundly won the Ward 1 race over Republican William Ferris and independent Maureen Carlo.

She tallied 386 votes to 262 for Ferris and 78 for Carlo.

Armstrong said she is pleased to earn a seat on the council at a time when the city is at a critical point, where it can really take off.

“Everybody I talked with feels that. I hope we can all have input on that as stakeholders,” Armstrong said.

She wants to see the re-emergence of a robust Community Development Office.

“I think there was evidence we haven’t had as clear an agent to promote and develop our city,” she said.

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