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McDougall is likely mayoral candidate

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GOUVERNEUR — The unexpired one-year term of Christopher A. Miller, who resigned as mayor Wednesday, will be on the ballot in November.

Deputy Mayor Ronald P. McDougall, a member of the Independence Party, has the support of officials in both the Republican and Democratic parties for the position. The logistics of how to nominate Mr. McDougall or other candidates are unsettled.

“I’m definitely interested,” Mr. McDougall said. “Once it gets sorted out, we’ll move forward.”

As deputy, Mr. McDougall already has taken over the duties of mayor. His wife, Dierdre K. Scozzafava, former assemblywoman and now deputy secretary of state for local government, is a former mayor of Gouverneur.

Republicans had their caucus to choose candidates for the village Board of Trustees on July 21, nominating Shelly Washburn to run for a one-year trustee term, and incumbents Charles W. Newvine and Mr. McDougall to run for two-year trustee seats.

Mr. Miller’s resignation gives Republicans an opportunity to caucus again for the mayor’s position, Republican St. Lawrence County Election Commissioner Thomas A. Nichols said.

Gouverneur Republican Chairman Eldon B. Conklin said he is willing to schedule another caucus but wants to talk to Mr. McDougall first about endorsing him for mayor and having a vacancy committee then select a replacement for him for the trustee’s post. Mr. McDougall, who also already has filed an independent nominating petition with the Board of Elections for a trustee seat, would have to formally decline the nomination for trustee in order to run for mayor.

Mr. Conklin said Mr. McDougall took up a leadership role when he was needed by the village and has the time and skills to be mayor.

“I think he’s the right man for the job right now,” Mr. Conklin said.

Democrats, who had been led by Mr. Miller, had not caucused yet.

“At this point, we are organizing and figuring out what we’re going to do,” said Mark J. Bellardini, the county Democratic chairman. “I’m sure we’ll have a caucus.”

Mr. McDougall is an asset to Gouverneur, he said.

“Everybody knows and respects him,” Mr. Bellardini said.

Candidates who wish to file independent nominating petitions requiring 40 signatures have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to do so, Mr. Nichols said.

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