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Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen Wins Second Term

Lucas Willard

All incumbents seeking re-election in Saratoga Springs held on to their seats for another two-year term, including Democratic mayor Joanne Yepsen.

Saratoga Springs supervisor Peter Martin introduced Yepsen at Democratic headquarters after the votes were tallied.

“Our returning mayor Joanne Yepsen!”

According to unofficial results, before absentee ballots, Yepsen took 55 percent of the vote over Republican John Safford for a second two-year term.

She thanked her campaign, which helped her outraise her opponent and turn out voters.

“Every single one of you in this room is responsible for this victory! Give yourselves  a round of applause,” said Yepsen.

If there was a theme in this year’s city council races, it was how the Spa City will continue to bring in new development without disrupting what Yepsen has frequently called the “city in the country”. The Democrat, who before her election two years ago served as city supervisor for eight years, said much of her work in her second term will focus on managing growth.

“So I’m working really hard on the Greenbelt Trail, to make sure that becomes a reality. I’m making sure that the Pitney Farm goes through and the conservation easement is strong. I’m making sure that our housing issues are going to be resolved once and for all. We need much more of a broad spectrum of housing prices in our city,” said Yepsen.

Yepsen said she’s also looking forward to updating city ordinances based on the new Comprehensive Plan approved earlier this year.

After conceding, Safford, a local businessman who had never before held elected office, said his loss came as a surprise.

“It is a mystery to me that I didn’t win based on the doors I knocked on and the people I talked to. What I do think is it was a very low turnout. It looks like it was less than 7,000 which, I think, affects our side a lot more. People weren’t that excited.”

Safford said he was thrilled to have the opportunity to run for mayor and walked across the street to Democratic HQ to congratulate Yepsen in person.

Along with Yepsen, all other incumbents held on to their city council seats on a ballot filled with familiar faces.

Democratic Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan defeated Republican challenger and former Commissioner Ken Ivins for a third term. Democratic Commissioner of Public Safety Chris Mathiesen defeated Republican challenger and former Commissioner Richard Wirth for a third term. Republican Commissioner of Public Works Anthony "Skip" Scirocco held on to his seat after a challenge from Democrat Bill McTygue for a fifth term. McTygue previously served as Director of Public Works. Democrat John Franck ran unopposed for his position as Commissioner of Accounts.

Supervisors Peter Martin, a Democrat, and Matthew Veitch, a Republican, also ran unopposed.

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