Last Updated on December 7, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Saratoga Springs Election Results Discussed at Skidmore College
Candidates in the Saratoga Springs elections recently returned to Skidmore College to review the results with political science students. The students, who were part of Professor Bob Turner’s first-year seminar, presented the findings of a survey they conducted on Saratoga Springs voters.
The discussion among the candidates and students focused on various aspects of the election, ranging from the differences in the candidates’ campaigns to the impact of perceived incivility in city council meetings. Erick Maganda, one of the students, drew comparisons between national politics and the political realities at a local level.
The results of the election revealed that Republican Mayor-elect John Safford emerged victorious in a three-way race against first-term Democrat Ron Kim. Safford expressed surprise at the number of Democrats who voted for him and attributed his victory to his focus on safety, civility, and addressing the homelessness problem in the city.
Interestingly, Safford’s campaign heavily emphasized a supposed crime wave in Saratoga Springs, a topic that sparked intense discussions among the students. Cam Whitney, another student, pointed out that politicians often use the issue of crime to gain votes, even if there is not necessarily data to support their claims. Whitney also highlighted that linking crime to homeless people is a common strategy employed by politicians.
In addition to the mayoral race, the election also saw Democratic Commissioner of Public Safety Jim Montagnino lose his bid for a second term. Montagnino’s defeat was attributed to a feud with Mayor Kim, a former ally. Montagnino commented on the split in the Democratic Party and emphasized the importance of unity for success in elections.
The students’ survey revealed some interesting trends among voters. Nearly 30% of respondents stated that they made their decision on who to vote for either days before or on the day of the election. Despite these last-minute twists, the students remained engaged and discussed the events in their group chat and at election parties.
Remarkably, the students accurately predicted Safford’s victory in the election. This outcome further underscored the value of the students’ research and analysis in understanding the dynamics of local politics in Saratoga Springs.
Overall, the discussion between the candidates and the students provided valuable insights into the recent Saratoga Springs elections. It highlighted the significance of issues such as crime and homelessness in shaping the outcome and emphasized the importance of unity within political parties. The event at Skidmore College showcased the students’ ability to engage with real-world politics and make accurate predictions about election results.
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