Democrat, Republican launch Ogdensburg write-in campaign

Burg write-ins

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - A Republican and a Democrat have launched a long-shot campaign for office in Ogdensburg.

Can this really work? Business owner Michael Skelly is mounting a late bid for mayor of Ogdensburg. Economic developer John Rishe is making the same late bid for a council seat.

“It is late in the game. It just kind of happened because my disappointment grew and grew as I dealt with the city,” said Skelly.

Skelly has battled city officials over assessments. He issued this call in April from the defunct movie theater he bought.

Rishe says he’s just tired of seeing his hometown go downhill.

“It’s kind of a David and Goliath task. But we’re up to the challenge. There’s a lot of supporters behind us. We think this is the time and we’re optimistic,” said Rishe.

Incumbent Mayor Wayne Ashley is Skelly's opponent on the Republican line.

Sam LaMacchia, a former chair at the Bridge & Port Authority, is running as the Democratic candidate.

There’s a big challenge for Skelly and Rishe. Neither of them will have a line on the ballot. That means anyone wanting to vote for them will manually have to write their names in.

Rishe is up against about half a dozen people running on party lines for council seats. He has a petition out calling for tax cuts. Skelly says people are terrified of having assessments hiked.

“People are living in the shadows – fixing the inside of their homes up, but afraid to do anything on the outsides,” said Skelly.

The Skelly/Rishe ticket is bi-partisan. Skelly is a Republican; Rishe a Democrat.

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