Saratoga Springs

Morrison wins Saratoga finance commissioner nomination

Michele Madigan still has two ballot lines, Independence and Working Families, but may not campaign
Patricia Morrison
Patricia Morrison

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Challenger Patricia Morrison has ousted incumbent Michele Madigan for the Democratic nomination to run for Saratoga Springs finance commissioner.

While the result is still unofficial, a count of absentee and affidavit ballots from the June 25 primary conducted Tuesday by the Saratoga County Board of Elections gave Morrison a 32-vote edge in the final count, with 765 votes to 733 votes for Madigan.

The result means Morrison will appear as the Democratic candidate for finance commissioner on the city’s Nov. 5 election ballots.

“I’m honored and humbled to reach this point in the process,” Morrison said. “I want to thank all my supporters and volunteers.”

“Our goal now is to listen and represent all voters in this city, despite their political affiliation,” she continued in a statement. “I look forward to working with the city Democratic Committee to advance our Democratic principles such as quality of life issues for the residents of Saratoga Springs. Such issues as open government, implementing transparency, ethical processes and exercising balanced development that aligns with the fragile historic character we all cherish.”

Morrison is a product development manager at CommerceHub in Albany and a member of the Saratoga Springs Board of Education, a position she will have to give up if she is elected.

Madigan, an eight-year incumbent, will still have the Independence and Working Families parties’ ballot lines in the November election. There will be no Republican candidate on the ballot, with the nominating petitions of a Republican candidate having been invalidated by the Board of Elections in April.

Madigan, who went into the primary with the endorsement of the city’s Democratic Committee, said that while she still hopes to be re-elected on the small-party ballot lines, she expects to be busy developing the 2020 city budget and addressing other city issues rather than campaigning.

“While I would very much like to continue to serve all city voters, of all political parties, for another term, at this time the budget needs of the city are my priority,” Madigan said.

“I am saddened and disappointed to have lost the Democratic primary for commissioner of finance, due to low voter turnout,” Madigan said in a statement. “I wish to thank my many friends and supporters for their hard work in the face of a very difficult and at times an ugly primary campaign.”

Morrison was reported as having a 31-vote lead after voting machine counts immediately after the June 25 Democratic primary, but a recanvass of machines later reduced Morrison’s lead to 20 votes. Of the 101 absentee and five affidavit ballots counted on Tuesday, Morrison received 59 votes, and Madigan 47, according to the Board of Elections count.

Under the city’s unusual commission form of government, the finance commissioner oversees preparation of the city budget and other financial matters, and serves on a five-member city council. The position is considered part-time, with an annual salary of $14,500.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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