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Gray not running for mayor in Massena

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MASSENA - A former county legislator and retired village employee said he considered running for mayor this fall, but he has decided not to seek the post.

Former St. Lawrence County Legislator R. Shawn Gray, a Republican, the brother of Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray, said he would have challenged Mayor Jame F. Hidy for the Republican party’s nomimation if a vialble opponent had not come forward. “I was just interested in making sure there was a contested race, and as long as there is I’m not going to run,” Mr. Gray said.

While he has yet to make his candidacy official, it is expected that current Masesena Village Police Chief Timmy J. Currier, a Democrat, will challenge Mr. Hidy, who has already announced that he will be seeking his second term in office.

Mr. Gray, who served three terms on the county Legislature from 1994, through 2006 said he has been approached “several times per week” for the past year by people urging him to run for mayor and challenge Mr. Hidy, who took office in December 2010.

Although Mr. Gray said he agrees that change is needed in the village, Mr. Currier’s expected presence in the race is enough for him.

“I don’t think we can continue with the status quo,” Mr. Gray said. “If there wouldn’t have been any other candidates, I likely would have run, but luckily for me there is another candidate.”

Joseph Gray said at this point he’s not sure whether Mr. Hidy will have challengers from within his party. But he explained that with Massena’s caucus system, neither party will be holding a primary.

“The way things are structured in Massena there cannot be a primary,” he said. “As we get closer to the election and the time campaigns should be happening, we will hold a caucus and all registered Republicans in the village will be invited to participate in choosing a candidate.”

Joseph Gray is a member of the town’s Republican Party Committee and former GOP chairman for both the town and county. He said a caucus, which is typically held in August, could be held as early as somet ime in July.

In addition to nominating a candidate for the mayoral race, nominations for two village board seats, those currently belonging to Timothy J. Ahlfeld and Patricia K. Wilson, will also be up for grabs.

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