Chris Rosenquest will be the next mayor of Plattsburgh, New York.
Election officials began the methodical count of absentee ballots at 9 a.m. Monday at the Clinton County Government Center for races across New York’s northeastern-most county. As they began, Republican Elections Commissioner Greg Campbell explained the process. “We’re going to start with the write-ins for early voting first. So we’ll get that out of the way. Over there we have the absentee ballots and the affidavit ballots for every district. So we’re going to start with the city first. Once we’ve finished with the city of Plattsburgh then we’re going to move onto Altona and we’ll just go alphabetically from there. What we don’t get done today, and concerning the number of ballots we have I’m sure we won’t, we will then pick that up at 9:00 tomorrow morning. So I guess we’re all set.”
Most people came to observe the count for races in the city of Plattsburgh. In the mayoral race, Democrat Chris Rosenquest trailed Republican Scott Beebie by 290 votes on election night. Absentee ballots boosted Rosenquest’s total and he won the mayoral seat by 310 votes, 4,018 to 3,708. “This has been a long, I’m going to have to hold back some tears because it’s a little emotional, um a long 10 months. Our campaign has spoken about progress and community involvement, transparency. I think that resonated with a lot of people. And that has been and is going to be our process moving forward. And it has to be. Just very fulfilling, you know very satisfying to be given the honor to represent our community in this way and I look forward to it.”
Beebie shook Rosenquest’s hand and graciously conceded. “Obviously I’m disappointed. I thought we would do better. We had a nice, a little lead going here. But we knew it was an uphill battle. We knew that there was more Democratic absentees out there. I have the utmost faith in the Board of Elections. I have the complete faith in the process. I will respect their decision. I think we ran a great campaign. I think we got people excited in a good way. Democracy it’s kind of cool. Everybody took part in it this year. This is my first attempt at an election. I learned a lot. I’m very proud of what we accomplished. We didn’t finish on the right side of it but I don’t know if I’d do anything different.”
Rosenquest is a Clinton County Legislator who defeated outgoing Mayor Colin Read in the Democratic primary.
On the Common Council’s Ward 2, the difference between incumbent Democrat Mike Kelly and his Republican challenger Jacob Avery was 35 votes on election night. After absentee ballots were counted Kelly won by 13 votes to retain his seat.
The Board of Elections will certify the results next week.