MASSENA - Its only May, but it looking like the race for mayor of Massena could be an inside job.
Massena Mayor James F. Hidy has made it no secret that he plans to run for re-election and the worst kept secret in town is that his opponent is expected to be Massena Village Police Chief Timmy J. Currier.
Mr. Currier had no comment when asked out his future Friday, but numerous Democratic insiders and others close to the police chief say he has made the decision to run for the post with current plans calling for him to retire from his police post in late 2014. The next mayoral term will begin on Jan. 1, 2015.
Mr. Hidy, 61, has heard the reports he will have a challenger - including speculation that his opponent will be his police chief - in his bid for re-election and said he is eager for the contested race.
I absolutely expect to have a challenger. I expect the Democrats to put up somebody, and I think they should. We have people in local government that have been in office for years and havent done anything, and they dont have opposition when they are up for re-election. That cant happen. We need change, and change is coming, he said.
Ive gotten under the skin of the good old boy network. I think they want to try to uproot my administration, Mr. Hidy said.
He also fired the first shot in what could be a theme in the incumbents campaign for re-election if Mr. Currier is his opponent. Regardless of who my opponent is Im not using this position as a stepping stone for any advancement to any other layer of government, Mr. Hidy said.
Mr. Curriers first venture into the political arena came in 2008 when he announced he was a candidate for the River District Assembly seat vacated by Darrel Aubertine when he moved to the New York State Senate. That campaign came to a quick end when Democratic party leaders refused to grant Mr. Currier an out of party authorization he would have needed to stage a primary battle against current Assemblywoman Addie Jenne Russell.
He has been a very visible police chief in recent years, an advocate for providing treatment in addition to making arrests to address the growing heroin problem in the community and has played a leadership role in efforts to form a boys and girls club in Massena.