PLATTSBURGH — A Wednesday afternoon announcement added Chris Rosenquest's name to the list of City of Plattsburgh mayoral candidates.
The Area 9 Clinton County legislator and local businessman became the sixth candidate and fourth Democrat to announce for the November 2020 election.
The 44-year-old ran as an independent in the 2013 mayor's race, defeated by Republican James Calnon, but said he would be running as a Democrat this time around.
"I’m proud of the work I’m doing for my community," Rosenquest says in a news release, referencing his work with the county's tax rate and economic development initiatives.
"In terms of government experience, building community cohesion, business acumen and a vast network of local, regional and state contacts, I have the background, resources and connections it will take to lead this city to a new future."
ON THE BALLOT
Last week, Republicans Scott Beebie and Nadim Dergham announced campaigns for the mayoral seat.
Soon after, Beebie, a retired City Police Department lieutenant, earned the Plattsburgh City Republican Committee's endorsement.
Though the Plattsburgh City Democrats had yet to announce endorsements, four Democrats said they would throw their hats in the ring, including Incumbent Mayor Colin Read, Tenzin Dorjee, Miles Davis and, now, Rosenquest.
'TO BE A HUSTLE'
The latest candidate said there was potential for endorsements, but noted that such backing wasn't the be-all, end-all.
"That's also why we have primaries," he told The Press-Republican, adding that, barring any race dropouts, the Democrats were headed for a primary.
"If a person doesn't get endorsed by the party that they are registered in, and they still feel like they are a better candidate — that's part of the democratic process."
To get on that June 23 ballot, candidates need signatures from at least 5 percent of city voters registered within their respective party lines.
Candidates could begin gathering those as of Tuesday, Feb. 25 and were expected to file them between Monday, March 30 and Thursday, April 2.
"With the number of candidates running — that's going to be a hustle," Rosenquest said. "I'm looking forward to it."
Rosenquest, raised in the City of Plattsburgh, holds degrees from Clinton Community College, SUNY Plattsburgh and the University of Washington's Foster School of Business.
The legislator won his Area 9 seat on the county board back in 2016, serving a full City of Plattsburgh district.
"As a legislator, Rosenquest has served as the chairperson of the Economic Development and County Operations committee and the Finance committee," the release says.
"Rosenquest is the legislative liason to the North Country Chamber of Commerce, Workforce Development Board, and Clinton Community College."
In addition, the city resident was the SUNY Plattsburgh women's rugby team head coach and co-owns Chapter One: Coffee & Tea, located in the Plattsburgh Public Library, with wife, Tracy Vicory-Rosenquest.
Together the pair have a son, Miles Charles Hudson Rosenquest.
'FAMILY FIGHTING FAMILY'
As city mayor, Rosenquest said he would work to improve City of Plattsburgh relations with entities like the Town of Plattsburgh and the Plattsburgh City School District, as well as city committees and the Plattsburgh Citizens Coalition.
"I want to make sure that everybody feels like they have a voice, that they are welcome to do business in the city and that they have a partner in the City of Plattsburgh," he said.
"I think a portion of that has been lost over the last few years," he continued. "We need to come together as a region.These microaggressions and fighting and the lawsuits — it wears down on you.
We're family fighting family. We can't just keep fighting each other like this."
STANCE ON DURKEE
In his release, Rosenquest says, "everyone running in this mayoral election will need to take a stance on the Durkee Street development portion of the (Downtown Revitalization Initiative)."
That spin-off project of the $10 million state-funded initiative would construct multi-use development in that downtown parking area.
The project has drawn a lot of attention from those who disagree with the use of the lot and the city's handling of the process, including a threatened lawsuit by local opposition group the Plattsburgh Citizens Coalition.
"What it comes down to is that we may not all agree on what that project needs to look like," Rosenquest said. "At the end of the day. . . the point, for me, is that we don't need to fight the way that we've been fighting.
I support and have been always pro-development in the city," he continued. "What it comes down to is making sure people have a voice and making sure that everyone, even dissenting voices, have a seat at the table."
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