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First candidate announces Plattsburgh mayoral campaign

Wendell Hughes (left) with Area 10 Clinton County Legislator Bobby Hall
Wendell Hughes for City of Plattsburgh Mayor/Facebook
Wendell Hughes for City of Plattsburgh Mayor/Facebook
Wendell Hughes (left) with Area 10 Clinton County Legislator Bobby Hall

The first candidate for mayor of Plattsburgh has kicked off a campaign days after Democratic Mayor Chris Rosenquest made the surprise announcement that he won’t seek a second term.

City Democrats stood in front of the Clinton County Government Center Wednesday to announce that Clinton County Area 8 Legislator Wendell Hughes will run for mayor of Plattsburgh. Hughes, who worked for the state Corrections Department for over 30 years, said he was nervous as he formally announced his bid.

“I aim to bring a vision of unity, progress, innovation to the forefront of the city’s future,” asserted Hughes. “A city that will work collaboratively with other governments, our business community, our community agencies and our state and federal partners. I aim to leverage public-private partnerships in an effort to provide services and opportunities while being fiscally responsible, which is very important to me.”

Hughes added that he made his decision to run on Saturday.

“I’m so sick of negative politics,” said Hughes. ”I want more positive. I don’t want to be complaining and complaining about things. Let’s fix them and let’s move forward.”

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While he doesn’t have a platform outlined yet, Hughes says the city faces some key issues.

“We always have to strive to provide jobs for our community,” Hughes said. “Housing is huge. I mean housing is just a huge problem we have here and I mean it’s got to be affordable. I mean there’s a lot of things. And along with the six members of the council I think we can do really good things.”

Area 10 Democrat Bobby Hall, Deputy Chair of the County Legislature, says Hughes can do something for the city that hasn’t been done in a long time.

“He can bring everybody together,” Hall states. ”He will make the people come together and he will really do a fantastic job. And we have the opportunity to get back to that. We haven’t had in the city of Plattsburgh in a long time a mayor that has brought all the people together and Wendell can do that.”

Hughes said he is already working to build that consensus.

“This weekend the first thing I did was I called all six councilors and had a really good conversation,” said Hughes. “I explained to them why going forward I think I can be a positive influence on the council and I think we can work together. You know there’s got to be compromises We need to fix the problems.”

Ward 3 Democrat Elizabeth Gibbs wholeheartedly supports Hughes’ campaign for mayor.

“When I have worked with him or talked to him about city issues he’s incredibly knowledgeable and willing to roll the sleeves up and get right to work,” Gibbs says. “He is going to be a very good fit for that position. Wendell is not somebody who is driven by his ego. He really cares very genuinely about the city and about the people here.”

Plattsburgh Republican Party Chair David Souliere IV was watching the announcement and noted afterwards that the GOP does not yet have an announced candidate.

“We’re looking for a candidate that will promote the issues that city residents care about most: affordable, available housing, access to youth recreation, public safety, and addressing the migrant crisis and how it effects those issues.”

Plattsburgh’s mayor serves a four-year term.