Thursday, 01 April 2021 12:57

Longtime City Councilmember John Franck Will Not Seek Re-Election; Signature Petition Process for Candidates Independent of Party to Begin April 18, State Announces

SARATOGA SPRINGS — At the conclusion of his eight two-year term as City Accounts Commissioner, John Franck will not be seeking reelection, the longtime councilmember announced this week in a statement. 

“It has been my honor to serve the city I love,” said Franck, citing an ongoing family medical concern as the reason. 

All five seats on the City Council, as well as both supervisor positions, are up for vote in November. Franck is the third of five current council members who have announced they will not be running in the fall. City Mayor Meg Kelly – who has served two, two-year terms, and Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan – who has served five terms - each said they will not seek re-election. 

Additionally, current Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton recently announced she will seek re-election, but that she will do so as a “no party” member, after changing her party registration to no longer being an active member of the GOP. 

Recent changes in election law have altered the landscape regarding the involvement of the number of political parties. Voters previously registered with the Green, Libertarian, Independence, or SAM party, are now considered No Party (NOP). 

The four political parties that now remain in New York State are Democratic, Republican, Conservative, and Working Families. 

While all registered voters are eligible to vote in the November General Election, No Party voters are not eligible to vote in any Primary Elections, which takes place June 22. 

Prior to the February 14 deadline that allowed registered voters to change their party affiliation - and therefore be eligible to vote in primaries of that new party they joined - 71 Saratoga Springs residents previously registered with other parties or unaffiliated with any party, switched their affiliation to the Working Families Party, according to voter enrollment documents secured from the Saratoga County Board of Elections. 

The Working Families party line in Saratoga Springs now counts 107 voters. Those 71 new members of the Working Families Party line came from various previous affiliations: 30 were previously registered Republicans, 17 Democrats, 7 Independence Party members, and a combined 5 members previously enrolled with the Conservative, Libertarian and Green party lines. Twelve had no previous party affiliation.  The shift in enrollments may have ramifications leading up to the election season. 

Potential candidate interested in running for a city position who does not have the endorsement of any of the four existing parties may do so independently, via independent nominating petitions. The number of petition signatures required varies according to municipality. 

In Saratoga Springs specifically, potential candidates interested in running for the City Council would need 305 signatures. The timing-window to secure those signatures begins April 13, and they must be filed the week of May 18-25. 

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