Wednesday, 03 July 2019 13:16

Morrison Bests Madigan in Primary; Puts City Dems in “Unique” Situation

BALLSTON SPA – Patty Morrison, an elected Saratoga Springs School District Board Trustee, defeated sitting City Council member Michele Madigan in the city’s Democratic Primary race, which was decided this week.

Primary Elections were held June 25 but resulted in a too-close-to-call verdict, with Morrison holding a slight lead. The counting of absentee ballots at the Saratoga County Board of Elections on July 2 resulted in a 59-47 margin in favor of Morrison, and an overall lead of 765-733, unofficially.

“I’m honored and humbled to reach this point in the process,” Morrison said, in a statement released Tuesday, thanking supporters and volunteers. “This was a huge grassroots effort with my team knocking on over 3,300 doors and spending a small fraction of what my opponent did.”

The race between Morrison and Madigan is for the position of Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Finance – one of five City Council seats. All five council seats, as well as both City Supervisor positions, will be up for vote in November. 

Madigan issued a statement Tuesday and said she was “saddened and disappointed to have lost the Democratic primary for Commissioner of Finance, due to low voter turn-out.  I wish to thank my many friends and supporters for their hard work in the face of a very difficult and at times an ugly primary campaign.”

Total voter turnout for the Primary Election represents approximately 22 percent of all registered Democrats in Saratoga Springs.  

Prior to the Primary Election, Madigan received the endorsement of the Saratoga Springs City Democratic Committee, as well as the backing of the the Independence Party and Working Families Party lines. Despite the loss in the Primary, Madigan – who is a registered Democrat – appears poised to run for re-election under those lines in the November General Election.   

“I hope to serve another term and would be grateful for the support of all city voters, regardless of political persuasion, come November 5th,” Madigan said.

Given the city Democratic Committee’s endorsement of Madigan in the Primary, Morrison’s victory among Democrat voters nudges the Committee into unchartered territory: The candidate they had endorsed, and who is a registered Democrat, will potentially be running for re-election on a different party line in a race against the candidate chosen by city Democrat voters.

“We’ll be having an executive (meeting) to figure this out, because this is a unique position,” said Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee Chairwoman Courtney DeLeonardis. While the full Democratic Committee is not scheduled to meet until September, DeLeonardis said the seven-member executive committee may meet as soon as early next week to decide how to proceed moving forward.

Candidate statements, in their entirety, may be viewed below.  

Patty Morrison: I’m honored and humbled to reach this point in the process.  I want to thank all my supporters and volunteers.  This was a huge grassroots effort with my team knocking on over 3,300 doors and spending a small fraction of what my opponent did.

Our goal now is to listen and represent all voters in this city, despite their political affiliation.  I look forward to working with the City Democratic Committee to advance our Democratic principles such as quality of life issues for the residents of Saratoga Springs.  Issues such as open government, implementing transparent, ethical processes and exercising balanced development that aligns with the fragile historic character we all cherish.

I pledge to bring long term, prudent fiscal planning as your next Commissioner of Finance and look forward to meeting thousands more residents to discuss their thoughts and concerns.

I’m focused on running a positive and inclusive campaign.  

Michele Madigan: I am saddened and disappointed to have lost the Democratic primary for Commissioner of Finance, due to low voter turn-out.  I wish to thank my many friends and supporters for their hard work in the face of a very difficult and at times an ugly primary campaign.

 I am still on the general ballot in November on the Independence Party and Working Families Party lines, and while I would very much like to continue to serve all city voters - of all political parties - for another term, at this time the budget needs of the city are my priority.

 I must present the 2020 budget by the end of the summer, and get it adopted in November. Additionally, the city has several multi-million dollar matters I must continue to plan for: repairing and reopening city hall, the Loughberry Dam upgrade mandates, Fire/EMS needs of the Eastern Plateau, finding a permanent solution to code-blue and our homeless issues, cybersecurity threats that plague cities daily - for starters.  I owe it to the taxpayers to focus on this city business.

 I hope to serve another term and would be grateful for the support of all city voters, regardless of political persuasion, come November 5th. This election is not about partisan politics or any particular issue; it is about prudently managing our city’s finances through challenging times.

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