WATERTOWN, NY — Mayoral Jeffrey M. Smith released the following statement on Sunday evening, July 14, 2019:
It has been nearly a month since the Primary Election, and City of Watertown voters are still waiting to learn whose names will appear on the ballot in November. It is unfortunate that due to a law that fails to specifically address the issue of a tie, my opponents who are deadlocked for second place and myself as the top vote-getter, are stuck in limbo as we await a resolution.
In recent weeks, I have listened to pundits, conspiracy theorists and others voice their opinions on how to best resolve this issue. In doing so, there has been much mudslinging and negativity—including a radio interview where the demeaning downstate attorney hired by one of my Primary opponents criticized our city and called people in Watertown “stupid.”
It’s this kind of negativity that serves only to divide our community and distract taxpayers from the real issues we face as a city. Additionally, there has also been much talk about the Jefferson County Board of Elections Commissioners and their role in this process. I do not believe either of the Commissioners have ulterior motives or agendas. They are doing their best to apply the nonpartisan election law.
People often say that voting is one of the greatest rights we have as citizens. I believe that not only is it our right to vote—but that it’s also our right to have a choice. When I entered the race for City of Watertown Mayor, I never expected to be the only candidate on the November ballot. That being said, the situation our City is faced with is unforeseen and at this time, I feel the only reasonable and fair way to now hold a nonpartisan election for Mayor is to allow three candidates on the ballot.
Although the Primary Election has traditionally been intended to reduce the field to two competitors, I fully welcome the opportunity to face two opponents. I am grateful for the support I received from voters in the Primary, and look forward to continuing my campaign and conveying to them why my experience, passion for public service and genuine concern for the fiscal stability of our City make me the best choice for Watertown’s next mayor.