City mayoral donations believed record $50K

From left: mayoral candidates Jeffery Smith, Allison Crossman and Cody Horbacz debate last Tuesday in Watertown. Julia Hopkins/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — After nine months of debates, talking to voters and handing out campaign literature, the three mayoral candidates will be busy this weekend making their final pushes to get votes.

City Councilman Cody J. Horbacz, former Councilman Jeffrey M. Smith and political newcomer Allison I. Crossman plan to spend as much time doing what they’ve been doing for months: going door to door.

“I’ll just be continuing on and planning to go to places I haven’t been yet,” he said.

Mr. Smith and Mrs. Crossman also plan to hit as many doors as they can before Election Day on Tuesday.

The three candidates announced they were running when there was snow on the ground last winter.

Since then, Councilman Horbacz and Mr. Smith say they’ve each reached 2,000 doors, while Mrs. Crossman estimates that the number is less than that.

Voters are telling Councilman Horbacz that they’re tired how negative the campaign became in the waning days.

Mr. Smith made an issue that Mrs. Crossman has never voted in any mayoral and council elections before now. She’s said Mr. Smith is trying to distract issues that voters care about. Councilman Horbacz insisted he’s stayed out of the fray.

“They’re sick of the dirt that my two opponents have been dragging into the race,” he said.

However, it won’t be until Tuesday that voters will see how the controversy impacts the election’s results in the nonpartisan race.

Despite the controversy, Mrs. Crossman said voters can expect to hear some advertising spots and receive automated phone calls urging them to vote for her.

“I’m sharing a positive message,” she said, adding she hopes to make lots of changes to keep people from moving out of Watertown and get others to move here.

To get the vote out, Mr. Smith and the councilman also plan to use phone banks.

In his conversations with them, he’s still hearing that voters are worried about the short- and long-term finances of the city, Mr. Smith said.

Many express opposition to the new pool and bathhouse at Thompson Park and how Councilman Horbacz supported using $2.9 million in the city fund balance to pay for it, he said.

It’s been a long race. The primary was on June 25, not in early September when it always was held in the past. Two candidates were supposed to face off in Tuesday’s election.

But Mrs. Crossman and Councilman Horbacz finished in a second-place tie, with Mr. Smith accumulating the most votes.

The mess had to be sorted out by a state Supreme Court judge, who ruled that both of them should move on to the general election.

Cliff G. Olney III, who ended up in fourth place in the primary, is running a write-in campaign.

The mayoral candidates are seeking four-year terms.

Voters also will choose from four City Council candidates. Councilwoman Sarah V. Compo, Patrick J. Hickey, Jesse C.P. Roshia and Robert T. Schorr are vying for four-year terms in the non-partisan race.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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