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Saratoga Springs Democratic leaders resign

Saratoga Springs Democratic leaders resign

Party was divided by finance commissioner primary

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Five leaders on the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee have resigned in the wake of last month's divisive party primary for the post of finance commissioner.

Those who have resigned, including committee chair Courtney DeLeonardis, are supporters of current finance commissioner Michele Madigan. Madigan narrowly lost to Patricia Morrison in a June 25 primary. While Madigan's name will remain on the November ballot under the Independence and Working Families party lines, she indicated immediately after the Democratic primary that she would not actively campaign on those lines. She was seeking her fifth, two year-term as the city's finance commissioner. 

The party leaders who have resigned include DeLeonardis; first vice-chair Ellen Kiehl; second vice-chair Jeffrey Patridge; third vice-chair Kathleen Wilson; and Joanna Zandrango, the committee secretary. The committee has yet to pick new leadership.

"We believe the time is right to give the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee a chance to have a new leadership team who will support the Democratic nominee for commissioner of finance, in accord with the outcome of the recent primary election," DeLeonardis said in a statement on Wednesday. "It has been an honor and a privilege to represent our respective election districts and bring our best efforts to the challenge of leading the SSDC and serving all Democrats in our city."

The departing members said they were leaving the committee with a "substantial treasury balance."

The Democratic committee has 50 members, with two people representing each of the city's 25 election districts. Morrison is a committee member.

Changes in the committee's leadership are occurring just ahead of what will be an active local election campaign.

The Democrats control four of the five Saratoga Springs City Council seats, and all are up for election this year. In addition to Morrison having won the primary, the party is supporting Dillon Moran as a challenger to the council's only Republican, Public Works Commissioner Anthony "Skip" Scirocco. With Public Safety Commissioner Peter Martin retiring, the Democrats have endorsed Kendall Hicks to face Republican Robin Dalton.

Incumbent Democrats running for re-election are Mayor Meg Kelly, Accounts Commissioner John Franck and Saratoga County Supervisor Tara Gaston.

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

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