© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mayoral candidates cast their ballots in Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs City Center voting location
Aaron Shellow-Lavine
Saratoga Springs City Center voting location

Saratoga Springs mayoral candidates cast their ballots today as the three-way race comes to an end.

Speaking with WAMC early Tuesday morning at the City Center after voting, incumbent Democratic Mayor Ron Kim said he’s confident at the end of a bitter campaign.

“We’ve offered a positive vision for where we want to move this city and I think that will resonate with voters," explained Kim. "So, I’m feeling pretty good. We’ve done—it’s sort of like, it’s almost like getting ready for an athletic event; you prepare, you do all the work, and now you see how—what happens.”

The mayor faces challenges from the One Saratoga-backed independent Chris Mathiesen and GOP candidate John Safford. Both candidates have criticized Kim for what they say is ineffective leadership in city council meetings.

Two meetings ended early this year during demonstrations by Black Lives Matter activists.

WAMC spoke with Mathiesen, also a former public safety commissioner, before he cast his vote at Saratoga Springs High School.

“We will hope for the best," said Mathiesen. "I think we are giving the people the best option and we will see if they take it or not.”

Safford voted early.

“We feel very good. We think that our simple goal of safety and civility is resonating with a majority of the people," said Safford. "People want to see that—and the other thing that people are—they want to see a balance back on the council, and are supporting me for those reasons. Simple reasons but very powerful.”

Safford, who received the endorsement of the Democratic Public Safety Public Safety Commissioner, Jim Montagnino, last week, said he looks forward to coming together with the other members of the city council, no matter their party affiliation.

“Well I think it’s pretty clear if you know anything about my background I can get along with any three of them." Safford continued, "you know, all three I can get along with. So I don’t really have any angst about that.”

Mathiesen returned to one of his campaign points and said that it is vital for city counselors to get along.

“We need to remind everybody that when you’re on the city council it’s important that everybody work together and have respect for each other because it’s in the interest of the people of Saratoga Springs that that be the case," said Mathiesen. "If there’s descension, if there’s disruption, if there’s the kind of activities that we’ve seen this year and last year that’s not helpful at all.”

Kim has feuded with Montagnino, a former ally. The Saratoga Democratic Committee rescinded its endorsement of the embattled commissioner Monday over a mailer sent by Montagnino’s campaign critics say is racist. Montagnino denies this claim.

Kim says he supports the committee’s decision.

“I have worked with Jim when there are things that I believe that he—that I can agree with," said Kim. "But on principled matters like trying to rip this community apart over race relations, I can’t support that. So, I thought that committee did the right thing. But I’ll work with any member as long as there are certain basic principles about equity, inclusion, and diversity that we agree upon.”

Polls are open until 9 p.m.

Related Content