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Few local races appear on ballots this year, even fewer are contested

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CANTON - As thousands of St. Lawrence County voters prepare to head to the voting booth this November, chances are they’ll only be voting in state and federal races.

And while a spreadsheet provided by the board of elections indicates there are local races in 20 towns and villages, only six feature contested races. Three of the races don’t even have any candidates at all.

Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner Jennie H. Bacon said the lack of contested races isn’t unusual in St. Lawrence County.

“It’s about the same,” she said of the number of uncontested races.

One reason she said the number of uncontested races may stand out is the simple fact that there’s not a lot of local races, allowing the races there are to garner more attention than they typically would.

“It’s just not a local year,” she said, adding that many of the races that are on the ballot this year are for unexpired terms.

As for those races with no candidates at all, she said that’s not unusual either.

“It’s really not unusual in places like Piercefield and Rensselaer Falls,” she said. “In Rensselaer Falls the two people in office right now whose seats are up got in on write-ins.”

Travis Dox and Connie McAllister may actually be running for re-election and people outside the village just don’t know. “It’s hard for us to tell,” she said.

And when candidates from Rensselaer Falls do run for office, it’s seldom as a Democrat or Republican.

“A lot of times when they do run it’s on an independent party line. They don’t usually run on major party lines,” she said.

Contested Races

In the village of Massena, voters will be deciding between three candidates for two village board seats.

Democratic incumbents Francis Carvel and Albert Deshaies will be challenged by Republican Dewitt Forbes.

Voters in the village of Canton will be casting their ballot in multiple contested races, as they have three candidates seeking two seats on the village board. Republican incumbent Mary Ann Ashley will be joined on the ballot by fellow Republican Michael E. Dalton and Democrat Dan McDonnell.

The town’s ballot includes two contested races, one for town justice and another for the town council, where there are two candidates seeking the remaining three years of an unexpired term.

The justice race pits Republican incumbent Cathleen E. O’Horo against Democratic challenger Greg Storie. Democrat Jesse Coburn is seeking election to the town council and will be opposed by Republican Daniel Martin, who will also appear on the Conservative Party line.

In Parishville, voters will be casting their ballots in a contested race for town justice that has Republican incumbent Frank H. Dunning facing a challenge from Dennis Lowe, who is running on the independent Progressive Party line.

Voters in Gouverneur will be electing a new mayor, however that race is uncontested. The race for village board is not. Republican incumbents Charles W. Newvine and Nelson Lawrence are facing Lawrence E. Woodrow, who is running on the independent Good Government line. Mr. Lawrence is also running as an independent on the Equal line. Shelly Simons-Washburn also appears on the ballot, although she is running unopposed for the remaining year on an unexpired village board term.

The race for mayor includes only Deputy Mayor Ronald P. McDougall.

The lone other contested race in the county is in Macomb where Republican John F. Ceresoli and Democrat Joan K. Mason are fighting to fill the currently vacant town justice position.

No Candidates At All

In Lisbon and Rensselaer Falls it will be up the write-ins to fill vacancies on their town and village boards. In Lisbon there is one vacancy on the town council, while Rensselaer Falls has two vacancies on its village board.

The town of Piercefield is also attempting to fill a vacancy in the courtroom with a race that includes no candidates. Two other races in Piercefield are uncontested with Republican Timothy Fuller seeking the remaining three years of an unexpired term as Highway Superintendent and Lorraine C. Lewis, also seeking a three-year unexpired term on the town council.

Uncontested Races

Uncontested races across the county include Pierrepont, where Republicans Roger Murray and Dahl McCormick are seeking two three-year unexpired terms on the town council. Mr. McCormick is also appearing on the Conservative party line.

Dennis B. Bulger is looking to finish out the remaining one-year of a term for town supervisor in Colton. He’ll be appearing on both the Republican and Conservative party lines.

In Hopkinton, Amanda Potter, who is running on the independent Adirondack Power Producers line, is seeking the remaining three years of a term on the town council.

Louisville Town Justice Michael Lecuyer will be running on the Democratic party line for re-election in an unopposed race.

In Waddington, Democrats Craig R. Bogart and William L. Shoen are both seeking re-election. They’re also both running on the independent Experience line.

Voters in the town of Madrid have an uncontested race for town justice race with independent Anya A. Tendler appearing as the lone candidate on the ballot.

Voters in the village of Heuvelton will be looking at two uncontested races, one in the village and another in the town of Oswegatchie. In the village Republican incumbents Neil Parish and E. Jack Wood are seeking village board seats and in the town, Republican Vicki Thornhill is the lone candidate looking to complete a one-year unexpired town clerk term.

The town of Edwards has two uncontested races with Republican Sharee D. Lanphear seeking the right to close out the remaining one year of a town supervisor term and Republican Arthur Whitmarsh looking to finish the remaining three years of a town council term.

In Fowler, Democrat Natalie J. Spilman is the lone candidate for a three-year unexpired town council term. Ms. Spilman also appears on the independent For The People line.

The town of Pitcairn also has an uncontested race with Democrat Jerry McIntosh as the only candidate looking to complete the final year of an unexpired town council term.

Polls across the county will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 6.

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