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Saratoga Springs Residents Choose County Supervisors

The three-way race for two open seats on Saratoga County’s Board of Supervisors for Saratoga Springs came to a close on Tuesday evening, with voters electing both a Democrat and a Republican.

With Democratic Saratoga County Supervisor Joanne Yepsen leaving her post for her successful run for mayor of Saratoga Springs, and Republican Matthew Vietch up for re-election, two seats on the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors for Saratoga Springs were left open. The field of candidates included Veitch, Democrat and Saratoga County Clerk Peter Martin, and former Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Finance and Republican Kenneth Ivins, Jr.

Veitch and Martin were selected by voters. Ivins conceded surrounded by his Republican colleagues and supporters on Tuesday evening. Ivins, who also served as the former president of the Clifton Park Chamber of Commerce, promoted himself during the campaign as an individual focused on economic development, said that he was confident his campaign brought important discussion into the Supervisors’ race.

"We put up a good race, we brought up a good issues, and those issues are going to continue to resonate around the county for many years to come, as well as around the city," said Ivins. "I appreciate your support."

Martin previously lost to Ivins in his 2009 bid for Finance Commissioner. After securing his own spot on the Board of Supervisors, Martin said that that next two months will require him to dig in and be prepared to tackle many of the issues facing Saratoga County.

"I've got to get up to speed on everything going on in the county. We've got to see what the county is going to do in the next two months before I take my new seat, and then see what kind of a difference I can make," said Martin.

Martin said his main concern is the possibility of Saratoga Springs being chosen as a potential location for a resort-style casino after voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow up to seven in New York. However, Saratoga County residents overall rejected the amendment with 53 percent opposed and 47 percent supporting.

Martin said that more community conversations and analysis around casino development will be essential to his agenda when he takes office.

"I'm hoping that maybe we can run some numbers, see what difference it will make on the positive and the negative to Saratoga Springs, and to Saratoga County, and then make an informed decision as to if we really want to embrace it or not," said Martin.

Matthew Veitch will serve his fourth term as Supervisor. He also thanked supporters and his family on Tuesday night at Republican headquarters.

"Two more years, I'm moving up in the world, and I'm going to be hopefully in the leadership role at the county very soon," said Veitch.

Veitch could become county chairman, depending the outcome of the Malta supervisors’ race. Incumbent Paul Sausville, who was in-line to become chairman, was narrowly edged out by Democratic challenger Cynthia Young, although the race is still too close to call and all absentee ballots have not yet been counted. According to the Saratoga County Board of Elections, only 12 votes separate the candidates.

While Veitch and the Board of Supervisors had not taken a public stance on the casino amendment, the board did adopt measures where  if the amendment were approved, the county would like to see the full-size casino located at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway – which is currently moving ahead with a $30 million expansion project.

If Saratoga Springs were chosen as the location, the city and county would split an estimated $11.4 million in annual proceeds to aid education and provide tax relief.

Democrat Martin said he’s looking forward to working with Veitch in the months ahead.

"Matt [Veitch] and I get along very well together, and I think that together we will represent Saratoga Springs very well," said Martin.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
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