Well played Ken Ivins...
Keeping it a secret what he planned to run for was a good play to get news coverage of an announcement that he would be running for supervisor, or at least to ensure it (particularly at 8 at night. I've got stuff to do!).
What he was planning to announce, in fact, may even have been a secret from him. He told me Monday he made up his mind about what to run for last Thursday.
Ivins said "some people have really twisted my arm big time," to run against Accounts Commissioner John Franck. Ivins said he seriously considered it. In fact, I'm told he may have called Franck to tell him he was going to do it.
"That would have been rough on Ken," said Democratic Chair Charles Brown. "He probably made a good choice" to go for supervisor.
He took a couple of potshots at the Democrats in his announcement.
"This has probably been the most contentious council we have had since the Val Keehn days and I think we owe that a lot to the Democrats at the table."
But mostly he talked about the offices he decided not to pursue in lieu of a run at supervisor.
He said he wouldn't run for public works or public safety because Skip Scirocco and Rick Wirth are running for those, but he was then able to run through the other three seats at the table as possibilities, since no one has announced a run at finance, accounts or — most importantly — mayor on the Republican ticket.
GOP Committee Chair Dave Harper said they have a candidate for that office, but won't say who yet.
He said it will be announced "on or before" May 13, when the GOP Committee will make their endorsements.
I've heard rumor for a little while here that it may be Deputy Mayor Shauna Sutton making a run at mayor and she has not denied it.
I called her today to ask about it. She called me back after 5 p.m. (you're not supposed to conduct political business during business hours as a city employee) and said she gave her word she would remain silent about who is running for anything, so she declined to comment.
"But I notice you are not calling me to deny that you are running for mayor," I said to her. She, again, didn't deny it.
Just rumor, but...
Harper said they need two more candidates to have a full slate (Which if they have mayor, would leave finance and accounts, assuming they endorse Rick Wirth).
A few of the names he dispelled, though, were Jay Rifenbary, former Saratoga Springs School Board member and current motivational speaker, who Harper said "gave (running for Public Safety) strong consideration but pulled out." Similarly, he said Vice Chair of the ZBA Kieth Kaplan has also pulled his name out of consideration for any office (I had heard he might run for finance commissioner, but I guess not).
When I asked him about whether they would have a full slate when push came to shove, his eyebrows went up and he said "I'm not sure about that."
On Democratic Chair Brown's end, he is confident his side will have a full slate.
At this point they'll need two supervisors and a Public Works Commissioner, which they didn't run in 2011. Brown said "I think we have one" and that he would not be a "paper lion."
For supervisor, Brown confirmed that Peter Martin is "genuinely considering" a run at the office. He is currently the interim Saratoga County clerk, but said he won't be running for that office.
He last ran in 2009 when he lost to Ken Ivins for Finance Commissioner, so it would be deja vu all over again like in the Public Safety race.
Brown, of course, said he doesn't think it will end the same. "Ken is qualified, but I suspect he won't be our next supervisor."
In fact Christian Mathiesen told me he has spoken to Wirth about his run at his job and essentially said he would like to see the race run (and end, I'm sure) the way it did two years ago.
It was, I must say, a positive and respectful race on both sides.
Labels: Charles Brown, City Council, David Harper, Election 2013, Former Mayor Valerie Keehn, former Public Safety Commissioner Richard Wirth, Kenneth Ivins, Public Safety Commissioner Christian Mathiesen