How a rebel candidate won write-in campaign for Ogdensburg mayor

wwny How a rebel candidate won write-in campaign for Ogdensburg mayor

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - It was an election night shocker in Ogdensburg - a write-in candidate ran away with the mayor's race. The apparent winner, Mike Skelly, says "feet are going to be held to the fire" at city hall.

“It's going to be different. Their attitude is going to be different towards citizens and business and we're going to be business friendly. If they can't do that, then they would have to leave,” he said.

Skelly appears to have won his write-in campaign by a huge margin. There were 1,481 write-in votes cast for mayor.

“We need less administration more workers...get people out working, instead of just having a bunch of chiefs,” he said.

There was nervousness at city hall Wednesday. But people so far say they're staying put. Skelly's three allies won election to the council. They will hold a majority.

“Lower taxes, that's what started it all off. We could have said just lower taxes by 1 percent. We said 25 percent and that got everyone's attention,” said Bill Dillabough, Ogdensburg council race winner.

The three incumbent council candidates lost. Skelly supporters said the reason they voted for him and his allies was simple.

"Because we wanted change in the city. Everything has been so stagnant," said Gene Love, Ogdensburg voter.

The Ogdensburg election has sent shock waves through the Democratic and Republican parties. It shows that a rebel candidate, with a vigorous campaign, can best them both. Even as a write-in.

Incumbent Republican Mayor Wayne Ashley tallied 470 votes. Second-time Democratic mayoral candidate Sam LaMacchia tallied 370 votes.

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