City Council - 2013, III
First, Mayor Scott Johnson has not publicly announced whether he will run for re-election in November, but he told me last week he made up his mind about it "some time ago."
He said he is waiting until it is the right time for him personally and "the right time for the office" to announce his decision.
Johnson also emphasized the fact that when he makes this announcement, to bear in mind that his decision was made long ago.
When I said it sounded an awful lot like he wasn't planning on a run at reelection, he said "I didn't say that."
Other people in the community have said that, though. I've heard from a number of people involved in Spa City Politics that Johnson is calling it quits, but to be clear, that is just speculation until he says one way or the other, as City GOP Committee Chair David Harper pointed out.
"I've heard that rumor as well," he said Monday. "I've also heard the rumor that he IS running."
As for a replacement Republican candidate, the name I hear most out there is Dave Patterson, the former 8th grade Social Studies teacher, one of the guides of historic Saratoga Tours and all-around nice guy (not to editorialize).
Harper would not confirm whether Patterson would be running for mayor if Johnson doesn't run, but he did say he has spoken to him and "I think Dave is definitely a candidate."
Another name floating around is that Ken Ivins may take a run at office again — though perhaps not for the same one he held. There's been talk about him running for city supervisor or Accounts Commissioner, but I don't know which.
In the same vein, Rick Wirth is another name that has become more and more solidified in the discussion about a run for office. Of course, in his case it is for the same one he left, Public Safety Commissioner.
On the other side of the aisle I have heard on pretty good authority is that Joanne Yepsen is, indeed, running for mayor.
When I talked to her Jan. 24 she wouldn't say which position she is planning to run for in November — mayor or supervisor. "There are several options on the table," she said, adding that she is having "preliminary conversations," about which she would choose.
I didn't reach her Monday for comment about it, but I've heard from a number of people that it is just a matter of time before she announces (I hear early March).
There was talk (particularly by Republicans) that Yepsen could technically hold both her supervisor position and be mayor at the same time, but — and this is purely my take — that would probably not go well for her during the race.
City Democrat Chair Charles Brown would not confirm Yepsen's intention's Monday, saying "until it is announced, that is not official." He said "It wouldn't disappoint me if she was (running)."
What is official is that John Franck is running for his fifth term as Accounts Commissioner. He told me that, unequivocally, last week.
Brown said Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan is holding an event on Friday where she will make an announcement (the subject of which is still a mystery).
He also said that while Public Safety Commissioner Christian Mathiesen hasn't officially announced, he is confident he will run for re-election.
As for the candidates who are not official, Brown said he "I think within a month all of this will be decided on our side."
Harper, on the other hand, said he couldn't offer a firm timeline. In fact, he sent out a press-release Monday looking for candidates (see below).