Posted at: 04/08/2013 4:59 PM
Updated at: 04/08/2013 5:43 PM
By: Mark Mulholland
SARATOGA SPRINGS - 54-year-old Joanne Yepsen has served as one of the few Democrats on the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors since 2006.
"I am Joanne Yepsen and I'm running for mayor of our wonderful city of Saratoga Springs," announced Yepsen Monday afternoon to a crowd of about 100 supporters gathered at Lillian's restaurant.
When asked, Yepsen said she was planning to run even before Republican Scott Johnson decided to not seek re-election. "We were planning to run for this office, yes."
During her campaign announcement, Yepsen promised weekly open office hours for people to meet with her.
And she talked about the importance of landing a full-fledged casino for the Spa City.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed several Las Vegas-style casinos around the state, but says where they should go will be decided after voters approve an amendment to make them legal.
Yepsen's supporters say she's the right person to lobby the Democratic governor on this and other issues.
"I think she has an open door to the Governor's office," said Tom McTygue, former long-time public works commissioner, a Democrat.
The Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee hasn't endorsed Yepsen, but most view that as a foregone conclusion.
Republicans have not yet decided on their candidate, their chairman, David Harper, said Monday that they're going over candidates to replace Scott Johnson and they "look forward to a robust campaign."
Voter enrollment has shifted in this city in recent years. Republicans once had a big advantage, but now outnumber Democrats by about six hundred registered voters.