PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh City Republican Committee chose to back Independent Jacob Avery in his campaign for City Common Council Ward 2 representative.
Avery was the only candidate to pledge a case for the Ward 2 spot during the committee’s recent endorsement meeting held at the Old Clinton County Courthouse on Margaret Street.
“I think it just shows what voice in the city is needed,” Avery told The Press-Republican after scoring the GOP endorsement. “I’m going for the Independent voice — that’s my goal.”
UP FOR ELECTION
The Ward 2 seat will be up for election this fall with, so far, only Avery and incumbent Democrat Mike Kelly in the running.
Kelly, who confirmed last month that he would once again try for the seat, has held his spot on the council since the 2013 election, but also served a single, three-year term from 2008 to 2011.
“After this term I wouldn’t be allowed to run again, unless I took a term off, but I think that’s pretty much it for me,” he had told The Press-Republican in January.
“We still have some important, unfinished business, as a city, to take care of and I think I can help with that — I want to anyway.”
Kelly had hoped to earn the Democrat and Working Families Party endorsements for the 2020 ballot.
‘AS MANY LINES’
Though formerly a “lifelong Republican,” Avery said he registered as Independent last November.
Like Kelly, the Independent said he also planned to seek the Working Families Party endorsement and, even with the Republican one under his belt, others, as well.
“To be completely transparent,” the 33-year-old told the Republican Committee, “I’m going for as many lines as I can.”
Prior to the endorsement vote, City Republican Committee member and former Plattsburgh City Mayor Donald “Donny” Kasprzak spoke favorably of Avery, urging fellow committee members to show the Independent candidate support.
During his years as a SUNY Plattsburgh student, Avery, who now serves in the university’s Center for Student Involvement, was the former mayor’s first and only intern.
“I have to tell you what a fine, young individual he is,” Kasprzak said. “He is very honest, very hardworking and was extremely interested in the city at that time — and he didn’t even know then where his future was going to take him.”
The former mayor said, in his intern role, had the opportunity to work closely with the city’s Department Heads, as well.
“I have nothing but faith in this young man that he will do a great job for the city if given the opportunity,” he said.
Fellow committee member and former city councilor Peter Ensel echoed Kasprzak’s comments and the candidate was unanimously selected for the Ward 2 endorsement.
HAPPY TO RUN
Avery thanked the Plattsburgh City Republican Committee for its support.
“I love this city,” he said in his pitch. “I always have loved this city. . . I’m happy to run for the Ward 2 seat.”
Though the City Common Council Ward 5 seat would also be up for election this fall, no candidates have sought the Republican Committee endorsement.
City Councilor Patrick McFarlin, who told the Press-Republican he recently registered as a Democrat after previously being independent, holds that seat, completing the term of the late Democrat Becky Kasper, who resigned in 2018.
McFarlin recently told The Press-Republican that he would be running for re-election, but details on that race were not available as of Friday evening.
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