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Former Plattsburgh mayor announces run for mayor

Don Kasprzak
Pat Bradley
Don Kasprzak

Former Plattsburgh Mayor Don Kasprzak formally announced his campaign for his old post this morning. He spent about an hour discussing his past accomplishments, priorities for the city and why he believes his experience is the most important issue for voters to consider.

Kasprzak served on the Plattsburgh Common Council from 1990 to 1994. After a break from politics, he was elected in 2006 to fill the term of then-Mayor Daniel Stewart, who left to take a state job. Kasprzak was reelected to two three-year terms, serving as mayor from 2006 until 2014, then opting not to seek re-election.

At City Hall Friday, the Republican announced his bid to replace first-term Democratic Mayor Chris Rosenquest.

“I wasn’t going to run,” said Kasprzak. ”Then I looked at the other candidates as they were announcing and I said these other folks, how are they going to run this city with no experience ever running a city? We turned our city around as a group and we worked hard in doing it. And I’m saying to myself what have these other folks done to do anything like that? And I came to the conclusion that they don’t have the experience. I think I can do the best job of anyone that’s decided to run. So that’s why I decided to run.”

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Kasprzak noted that when he first took office, he inherited a city in serious financial peril.

“We eventually turned our city around and at that point we didn’t have a fund balance,” recalled Kasprzak. “So during that tenure it was a real struggle but we actually shifted the tide and stabilized tax and utility rates and I’m proud of that. This time, hopefully if I’m elected, it’s going to be different because the fund balance is solid here. Having a solid fund balance makes a big difference when you become a mayor or at any level. So that’s going to be a different type of approach if I am elected.”

Kasprzak listed a number of accomplishments and challenges from his previous stint as mayor including management and recovery from major flooding in 2011. His priorities if elected include public safety, addressing illegal drugs, fiscal responsibility and recreation resources for the city’s youth.

Kasprzak’s campaign is supported by both the city and county GOP committees. City Republican Chair David Souliere IV is excited to have him return.

“We’ve listened to the constituents of the city,” said Souliere. “They’ve made it pretty loud and clear that they want experience to return to this City Hall. Don Kasprzak is arguably one of the best mayors of Plattsburgh. It’s been in the back of our heads to run Don Kasprzak for months but ultimately it was his decision to come to us and say you know this is the time. I think I can do what’s best for the city. And that’s why we decided to unanimously throw our support behind him.”

County Republican Chair Jerika Manning said they are also supporting Kasprzak’s campaign.

“A lot of the discussion has been about city issues and rightfully so,” Manning said. “From a county perspective the city of Plattsburgh is Clinton County’s city and so I think that the effort that’s going to go behind this campaign is going to be a Clinton County effort.”

The mayor of Plattsburgh now serves a four-year term.

Kasprzak is the only Republican in the field. Area 8 Clinton County Legislator Wendell Hughes and Clinton County Assistant District Attorney Dan Lennon are running in the Democratic primary.