Press-Republican

June 14, 2013

Clinton County races tentatively set

By JOE LoTEMPLIO
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — The match-ups for races to gain seats on the Clinton County Legislature have been tentatively set.

It appears there will be contests in four of the five areas that are up for election to four-year terms.

Only the even-numbered areas of the 10-seat legislature are up for vote this year. The odd-numbered areas will go before voters in 2015.

Democrats and Republicans met recently to endorse their candidates for areas 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10.

They also discussed the positions of county treasurer and district attorney, but those races are, so far, uncontested.

AREA 4 RACE

The Area 4 matchup in the Town of Plattsburgh will feature Democrat Colin Read going against Plattsburgh Town Council member Gerard Renadette.

Incumbent Sara Rowden cannot run again due to term limits.

Read is a professor of economics at Plattsburgh State and owner of Champlain Wine Company in downtown Plattsburgh. He has been writing a weekly column for the Press-Republican, but that has been suspended during his candidacy.

Read said he wants to sustain the future of the area for the next generation.

“I don’t want to see our region fall prey to the forces that undermine rural counties across the nation,” he said.

“We have an awful lot going for us in this county, and it is high time we capitalize on every possibility.”

Renadette has served on the Town Council for 17 of the past 18 years.

He said he is ready to make the leap from the town to the county.

“As I prepare to bid goodbye to the position which I held for 17 years, I realize that there is still much work to be done, but it needs to be done by our county legislators,” Renadette said via email.

“With my past experience on the Plattsburgh town board, and my ability to reach across the aisle to secure consensus, I believe that I am the best person to succeed our present Area 4 legislator.”

WALDRON VS. BERNARDI

The Area 6 race in Saranac will pit Democrat Patty Waldron against Republican John Bernardi.

Incumbent Robert Butler will also have held his seat for the 12-year limit when it expires at the end of the year.

Waldron is the owner of Koffee Kat, a downtown Plattsburgh coffeehouse. She also worked for 10 years as a dental assistant at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora.

Waldron, a native of Clayburg, said that working at the prison and in downtown Plattsburgh has given her a wide perspective of the county.

“I feel I have both the private enterprise and public-sector experience, and that gives me an advantage in representing this area,” she said.

“At the Koffee Kat, I hear all types of issues being discussed every day, and I think I am in a good position to bring the county forward and represent the rural areas, which are different that some of the other areas.”

Bernardi is executive director of United Way of the Adirondack Region.

“I have a strong desire to serve the county in this capacity as a legislator,” he said.

“I really want to be part of the leadership that continues to steer the county in the right direction for responsible growth and development as we move into the future.”

AREA 8 FACE-OFF

In Area 8, which includes the South End of the City of Plattsburgh and part of the Town of Plattsburgh, incumbent Republican Mark Dame will be challenged by Democrat Robert Dolan.

Dame is the owner of Dame Motorsports in Plattsburgh. He served on the city’s Common Council from 1990 to 1994. He was elected to the legislature in 2011 by defeating Democrat Sally Sears-Mack.

He said he wants to continue his work of looking out for the taxpayers of the county.

“I am just sinking my teeth into many issues of the county, and there is much left to do,” he said.

“Keeping taxes down will be critical because the cost of government, with health care and retirement benefits, continues to rise steadily.”

Dolan is a retired teacher who taught at Northeastern Clinton Central School from 1971 to 1982 and then for 15 years at AuSable Valley Central School with an intermission in the private sector in between.

He said he wants to focus on improving the county’s infrastructure.

“I want to support labor and keeping jobs here, and as someone who is retired, I will be available for constituents who might need help with a government agency,” he said.

PERRY VS. HALL

In Area 10 in the city, the Republicans will run Rick Perry against Democrat Robert Hall.

Incumbent Robert Heins has reached his term limit.

Perry retired last year as the city’s building inspector. He also worked for several years for the city hosting many high-profile fishing tournaments on Lake Champlain.

Both his parents, Gladys and Richard, served as county legislators.

Rick said he believes he can help foster good relations among the city, the Town of Plattsburgh and the county.

“I want to work to help make government as efficient as possible,” he said “We can’t expect the taxpayers to continue to pay escalating taxes.”

Perry said he would like to continue working to promote tourism in the area.

Hall is a former city councilor who ran for mayor twice but lost in 1991 and again in 2004. He owns Bobby’s Lounge in the city.

He said he, too, can help build better relationships among the city, town and county.

“I think I can be a strong voice for the city and bring all sides together,” he said.

“I’ve always cared about the people, and that’s who I want to help.”

 AREA 2 UNCONTESTED

Republican Jonathan Beach of Altona, the Area 2 incumbent, will run again. Democrats have yet to field a candidate for that race.

Beach is a physician who runs a practice in Plattsburgh.

He said he believes the County Legislature is on the right track, and he wants to continue his efforts.

“As a group, we work very well together, and I feel we have accomplished great things,” Beach said.

“I have more goals to complete and would love to continue working for the people of Area 2.”

Both Republican Party Chairman Donald Lee and Democratic Party Chairman Martin Mannix were happy with their field of candidates.

“I think we will do very well,” Lee said. “I like this slate.”

Mannix said his team is among the best the party has ever put forth.

“I am very happy with this slate. We couldn’t have asked for more.”

Candidates have until July 11 to file the required petitions in order to get their names officially on the ballot for November.

Email Joe LoTemplio:jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com