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Gouverneur GOP seeking candidates for village board

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GOUVERNEUR — As village Republicans prepare to caucus for nominations for three seats on the village Board of Trustees, only one of three incumbents is anywhere near committed to run.

“I haven’t really made a decision. I’m leaning more toward running,” said Trustee Charles W. Newvine, a Republican. “We have too many projects. I hate to start something and not see it through at least halfway.”

The GOP will have its caucus at 9 a.m. Saturday in the municipal building. Chairman Eldon B. Conklin said the caucus usually attracts 30 to 40 people but he was unsure what to expect this year.

“I don’t have a clue,” he said.

Mr. Newvine said he has debated whether to run again because he is busy with his family auto parts store and because of his dissatisfaction with Mayor Christopher A. Miller, who removed him as deputy mayor. Mr. Newvine said his removal came after he criticized Mr. Miller’s performance as mayor.

Instead, Mr. Miller named Ronald P. McDougall as deputy mayor.

Mr. McDougall helps read the resolutions at village meetings and is often the one reminding the board of correct procedure.

“Ron has to walk Chris through the agenda,” Mr. Newvine said. “The only reason I agreed to be deputy mayor in the first place was that no one else wanted to do it. Chris and I don’t see eye-to-eye. My removal made me feel like I was doing something wrong.”

Mr. Miller said he asked Mr. McDougall to serve as his deputy because of his availability.

“Ron has free time and I thought he would be best for the position,” Mr. Miller said. “I have nothing but the utmost respect for Charles.”

Mr. McDougall, who was appointed to the board in January after Carl A. Petitto resigned, said he is uncertain whether he will run. He is an Independence Party member. The deadline for Democrats to file certificates of nomination with the St. Lawrence County Board of Elections is Sept. 20.

Mr. Miller is chairman of the Gouverneur Democrats but did not file a petition to remain on the committee. He could still schedule a caucus, appoint someone to do it, or Mark J. Bellardini, the county Democratic chairman, could set up the meeting, said Jennie H. Bacon, county Board of Elections Democratic commissioner.

The other trustee seat up for election this fall is held by R. Nelson Lawrence, a Conservative who was appointed in December by then-Mayor Dorothy L. Vorce after George G. Harder resigned.

Mr. Lawrence said he is too busy with his family’s bed and breakfast to continue on the board.

“I just filled the void for what they had to have,” he said. “After this year, I’m done.”

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