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January 24, 2013

New Republican election chief suggested

ELIZABETHTOWN — The Essex County Republican Committee has come up with an alternate recommendation for a controversial election-commissioner appointment.

After the Essex County Board of Supervisors failed to act on the county committee’s renomination of Westport resident Derinda Sherman, it reverted back to the GOP leadership for another name earlier this month.

That happened Tuesday night, when the Republican Committee unanimously chose Lake Placid resident Allison McGahay, a former Essex County assistant district attorney, as its recommendation for Republican election commissioner.

SUPPORT SOUGHT

Now letters have gone out to all Republican supervisors asking them to support McGahay.

“Allison McGahay was interested after Derinda was no longer a viable candidate,” Essex County Republican Chairman Ronald Jackson said Wednesday.

“When it came to committee, she was the only one who’d sent a letter. She’s extremely well qualified. Her specialty was election law.”

McGahay has served as Republican deputy director of operations for the State Board of Elections. In 2007, she was promoted to special counsel at the state board, then from 2009 to 2012 was an assistant DA in Essex County, leaving three weeks ago.

‘IMPORTANT YEAR’

“Election work will always be a passion of mine,” McGahay wrote in her request for recommendation. “This is a very important year for Essex County Republicans and the people who call Essex County home.”

Jackson said Sherman did an excellent job at the County Board of Elections, and the county committee rewarded her by naming her second vice chair.

With the recent death of longtime St. Armand Supervisor Joyce Morency, the committee moved Win Belanger of Willsboro from second vice chair to first vice chair.

The Board of of Supervisors had 30 days to act on the request for Sherman’s reappointment or the board’s Republican caucus had 60 days to put her back in office, and neither happened.

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