After a campaign that began in early April, Democrat Joanne Yepsen declared victory in Saratoga Springs Tuesday night. As YNN’s Matt Hunter reports, the county supervisor will become the third female mayor in Saratoga Springs history.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – After eight years on the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, Joanne Yepsen will become the Spa City's next mayor.
"We are taking back the city hall as the people's building!" Yepsen told supporters, who gathered at the Inn at Saratoga on Broadway.
By late Tuesday, the longtime Democrat lead opponent Shauna Sutton by more than 340 votes. Yepsen secured 4,123 votes to Sutton’s 3,781.
After addressing a room full of her own supporters at the Holiday Inn, Sutton walked across Broadway to congratulate her opponent.
"This [Yepsen] is somebody who's been out in the arena for eight years,” Sutton said. “I think we did remarkable well to have only 300 votes difference."
From the start, Yepsen told voters she'd make city hall a more transparent place, a message that seemed to resonate her supporters.
"We are going to make this transition as smooth as possible because I'm going to be a mayor that represents everyone, regardless of political party," Yepsen said.
An issue that's sure to dominate her first term is casino gambling. While Proposition One passed statewide, it was not supported by Saratoga County voters.
Yepsen says her focus is to ensure a potential casino doesn't have a harmful impact on the city and its businesses.
"I know there was lot of concern around Saratoga Springs in particular, my city, about the proposition,” Yepsen said. “I think what they're very afraid of is Saratoga Springs will become another Atlantic City. We just can't let that happen."
With Yepsen's victory Democrats remain in control of the City Council. While the Public Safety Commissioner race has a very slim margin, Democrats will hold at least three of the five seats for the next two years.
Democratic incumbent Christian Mathiesen leads Republican challenger Richard Wirth, who held the post directly before Mathiesen, by less than 100 votes. Wirth did not concede Tuesday night.
Yepsen's victory speech
Albany/HV: Yepsen declares victory in Saratoga
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