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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Deshaies, Carvel re-elected in Massena


MASSENA - Village voters overwhelmingly chose to stay with incumbent trustees Francis J. Carvel and Albert C. “Herb” Deshaies, over Republican challengers DeWitt Forbes and write-in candidate David Romigh in a race for two seats on the village’s Board of Trustees.

Massena voters cast 2,235 ballots for Mr. Carvel, 2,127 for Mr. Deshaies, 1,154 for Mr. Forbes and 260 write in votes for Mr. Romigh, who launched his write in campaign last week.

Mr. Deshaies says his and Mr. Carvel’s victory is a victory for the “betterment” of the people of Massena.

“This is a small-town, these are our neighbors, and you’ve got to work together,” Mr. Deshaies said. “If someone poses a problem, the solution has got to be for the betterment of the entire community.”

Mr. Deshaies expected Mayor James F. Hidy, a Republican, to put up full opposition against the Democratic incumbents and was surprised Massena Republicans only nominated Mr. Forbes at their caucus in September.

Massena Republican Party Chair Charlie Romigh, father of write-in candidate David, said he was pleased with his party’s candidates and the campaigns they ran.

“We ran a decent campaign on the issues,” Charlie Romigh said. “We didn’t resort to putting slanderous things on Facebook or having our son write fictional letters with no bearing.”

The elder Mr. Romigh is referring to a letter to the editor sent to the Daily Courier-Observer by Mr. Deshaies’s son, Patrick J. Deshaies, questioning Mr. Forbes’ credibility of the Republican trustee candidates.

Mr. Forbes pledged to run for office again, saying, “I’ve only started.”

He said Massena’s economic woes, including high unemployment and issues with crime and derelict properties, will not be solved with the same trustees in office.

“Massena needs to wake up,” Mr. Forbes said. “They’re going to stick with the same horses in the same races and those horses are lame. Nothing is going to change in Massena until the people in Massena wake up and change it.”

Mr. Romigh, the candidate, said he was surprised by the number of write-in votes he received.

“As a grassroots candidate running as a write-in, I am humbled and amazed by the numbers I received,” he said. “It’s humbling to have anyone write me in. It makes me wonder about what would have transpired has I announced my candidacy earlier.”

Mr. Deshaies said he will dedicate his next term to reducing high unemployment in Massena. He plans to coordinate with department heads and reduce spending cuts in order to avoid layoffs as a solution to the town’s budget problems.

“I would never cut a job,” Mr. Deshaies said. “To get things done, you’ve got to raise taxes. A lot of things need to be done in Massena.”

Massena Democratic Committee Vice Chair Cortney A. Deshaies, Herb Deshaies’s daughter-in-law, thinks Massena voters chose as they did because they trust the incumbents.

“I think the majority of voters realize that (Mr. Deshaies and Mr. Carvel) are honest and work for the people,” Ms. Deshaies said.

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