SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Springs Republican Committee has endorsed local business owner Heidi Owen West as its candidate for mayor as part of a ticket that includes several women who will run for elected citywide office.
The candidates include West for mayor, Tracey LaBelle for public safety commissioner, JoAnne Kiernan for finance commissioner, and Samantha Guerra for accounts commissioner. Public Works Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco was endorsed for re-election as a Saratoga Springs representative on the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, along with John Safford, who will run for the supervisor seat now held by Democrat Tara Gaston.
The mayor’s seat will be open in November, with Democratic incumbent Meg Kelly not running for re-election after two, two-year terms. Democratic Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan is also not seeking re-election after a decade in that office.
Saratoga Springs Republican Chairman Chris Obstarczyk said the slate is the most diverse the party has ever nominated in the city. “It’s unprecedented. We’re going to make history. We have a unified, qualified and experienced ticket that is going to impress all Saratogians,” he said.
Obstarczyk noted that some of the candidates are independents not enrolled in any party. Those include West, who has operated businesses in the city for three decades.
“What we’re facing and experiencing right now is testing our city’s strength,” said West, who owns three retail businesses on Broadway. “The only way we’re going to meet the daunting challenges ahead of us is having leadership in City Hall that knows what it’s like to pour your heart and soul into the community that you love.”
Current Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton was elected two years ago as a Republican, but announced over the winter that she was leaving the party. She expects to run for re-election as an independent.
The Republican nominee, LaBelle, who works in medical sales, is the daughter of the late City Court Judge Lawrence LaBelle. “I saw how much this city meant to my late father, serving as Saratoga Springs City Court judge for nearly 50 years. It inspired me to step up and give back to the city I’ve always called home,” said LaBelle. “The safety of our community is paramount, which demands the next leader of public safety have the temperament and vision to move our city forward.”
Madigan’s plan not to seek re-election leaves the finance commissioner position, which oversees preparation of and administration of the county budget, open.
Kiernan is a certified public accountant who currently serves on the Saratoga Springs Board of Education, and said her accounting experience qualifies her for the post.
“My entire career I’ve worked with large and small businesses to help them budget responsibly and make sound financial decisions,” Kiernan said. “I’ve also helped those same businesses make some tough choices. Now more than ever with what our city may face financially, the next finance commissioner must be qualified, competent and experienced.”
Guerra, who Obstarczyk said is a stay-at-home mother of two sets of twins, would be taking on Democratic Accounts Commissioner John Franck, who is expected to seek re-election.
City Democrats haven’t yet announced their citywide candidates.
All the commissioners are considered part time, with an annual salary of $14,000. The four commissioners and the mayor function together as the City Council.