SARATOGA SPRINGS: Johnson unseats Keehn

For the second time in a row, Saratogians have voted out a one-term mayor.

Republican Scott Johnson came from relative obscurity to upset incumbent Democratic Mayor Valerie Keehn by a margin of 4,241 votes to 3,760, according to the unofficial tally by the Saratoga County Board of Elections.

Independent Gordon Boyd, whom Keehn defeated in the Democratic primary, garnered 516 votes.

Now it's time to move forward and make something meaningful for the city, said Johnson, celebrating his victory at the Holiday Inn on Broadway. Boyd said his next move is to assess City Hall and "see what needs fixing and what does not."

Keehn was across the street at The Inn at Saratoga. During her concession speech, she gave some thoughts on why she lost.

"I think this is what happened. Not only did I have two opponents in this race, but I had three opponents " and one was the biggest political machine the city has ever seen," she said. When asked later who that machine was, she answered, "Tom McTygue."

The outgoing mayor was surprisingly positive at the defeat. "We still have a lot to celebrate," she said. "Let's take stock in this. Let's have one night where we feel sad, but let's wake up tomorrow morning and say 'We've got work to do, and by golly, let's do it.'"

Keehn acknowledged the successful re-election campaigns by fellow Democrats Ron Kim and Joanne Yepsen, and they, in turn, acknowledged the work she has done over the past two years.

"What Valerie did over the last two years was to set a positive and productive environment for city government. I hope to carry that on to the county," said Yepsen.

After making her concession speech, Keehn crossed Broadway to congratulate Johnson.

There she took the stage to a round of applause. "I never thought I'd be speaking to this crowd in this way," she said. "I just want to say to you that in order to get to a better place, sometimes there has to be pain and sacrifice. This city has gone through that pain and sacrifice."

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