Seeking a second term, the mayor of Plattsburgh has lost the Democratic primary. The Clinton County Board of Elections counted absentee and mail-in ballots for last Tuesday’s primary this morning.
The three-way Democratic race pitted Mayor Colin Read against County Legislator Chris Rosenquest and downtown businessman Tenzin Dorjee.
Read was trailing Rosenquest following in-person primary voting on June 23rd. The absentee ballot count confirmed Rosenquest’s win. Republican county election commissioner Greg Campbell announced the overall result of the absentee ballot canvass and primary night votes. “Unofficially we’ve got Chris Rosenquest at 848 votes, Colin Read at 574, and Tenzin Dorjee at 231. As I said these are unofficial votes. We will certify by next week officially what the total is. We go back and double check the results that we have here, double check the tapes that we had from the machine, compare the numbers, make sure that we’ve got all the write-ins in, make sure we have any blanks or voids that have to be put in. We have to have all that information in before we can actually certify it.”
Rosenquest was at the Board of Elections for the ballot count. He admitted he was nervous as the count progressed. “We are really excited. It’s satisfying to see the results. We pulled in over 50 percent of the vote total in the primary. And I think the Democratic voters in the city have been clear. They want a mayor and leadership that can provide transparency, inclusion, build our community and create the financial stability that we need in our city. And so it’s exciting in that you know I think the vote shows and the vote total show that that is what people came out to vote for and we’re excited to fulfil on what the voters want and what people want for our city.”
A representative for the mayor observed the count but Read did not attend and was unavailable for comment Wednesday. He emailed a statement saying: “I thank the three candidates who were willing to dedicate their next four years to service to the residents of our city, and the remaining two candidates who I hope will conduct clean campaigns that focus on the concrete things each of them will do to rebuild our city and lower taxes in this incredibly challenging time. I wish them the best of luck.”
Rosenquest says he has aggressively sought ways to reach out to voters despite restrictions caused by the pandemic. “We’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. We’re now on TicTok. Like it really is important for us to pull out all the stops. How we get to voters is key ‘cause you know we can’t go door-to-door. We can’t hold large events. So understanding how to get to voters is key for us and that’s been part of our platform from day one and I think that shows in the results.”
The board of elections had mailed just over 3000 primary ballots and 1,070 were returned.
In the November general election, Rosenquest will also appear on the Working Families Party line. He faces Republican Scott Beebie.