By JOE LoTEMPLIO
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County Republicans have given incumbent Assemblywoman Janet Duprey the nod to run for another term in the 115th District.
But it appears that she will face a primary before the general election.
Duprey captured the party’s endorsement at the recent caucus, defeating challenger Karen Bisso in weighted voting by a margin of about 2,800 to 2,000, according to Party Chairman Randall Beach.
The incumbent also has the endorsement of the Franklin County Republican Party.
The 115th District includes all of Clinton and Franklin counties and four towns in eastern St. Lawrence County.
The St. Lawrence County Republican Party is not endorsing a candidate, pending the possibility of a primary.
“I discussed with both the Clinton and Franklin County committees my passion for the Assembly position, which has allowed me the opportunity to assist hundreds of individuals and businesses with a wide variety of issues they face in their daily lives and business operations,” Duprey said in a statement.
“Having a direct impact on the quality of life by assisting constituents with everyday problems is a privilege that brings great satisfaction.
“There is no doubt the many contacts I have made in various state agencies allow me to often find the right people to help solve local problems.”
Duprey was elected to the Assembly in 2006 after serving as Clinton County treasurer for 21 years and as a county legislator for 10 years.
She won re-election in 2008, 2010 and 2012.
In 2012, she soundly defeated Democrat Timothy Carpenter and Bisso, who ran on the Conservative Party line.
Bisso, a teacher in the City of Plattsburgh School District, has the Conservative Party endorsement again for this year’s election.
Duprey will also be on the Independence Party line.
Bisso told the Press-Republican that she will run against Duprey in a primary for the Republican line.
She, like Duprey, will need to acquire 500 signatures from party members on a petition by July 10 to get on the ballot.
“With nearly 45 percent of the people supporting me in the room that evening (party caucus), I am proud to have the team members I will need to win the primary on September 9th,” Bisso said in a statement.
“The endorsement from the party and the subsequent work the committeemen do is important to Ms. Duprey. Without it, she would find herself ringing doorbells and getting her own signatures to get on the ballot, a task she has never done.
“I find the petition process critical and, like last time, will work hard and knock on hundreds of doors myself to speak directly with the residents to hear their primary concerns.”
Bisso has been on a 37-town tour of the district listening to issues local governments deal with.
“My campaign is hardworking and strong and is shaping up to bring new energy and ideas, a new level of constituent services (including field work) and is committed to your voice being heard and delivered,” she said.
Duprey said she believes she has the best makeup to serve in the Assembly.
“Bipartisan relationships are key to maximize local efforts to grow our economy. I’ve been extremely successful in developing excellent interaction with all state agencies, members of the Assembly and local officials,” she said.
“These ongoing collaborative relationships are possible because of my proven ability to work well with people in a cooperative manner.
“My opponent, for some reason, always sounds and appears angry about her issues and the legislative process in Albany,” Duprey continued.
“The reality is no one will work with a person who is angry and berates them. While I do get passionate about important issues, it must at times be tempered to work for the best interests of the constituents I serve.
“I look forward to another successful primary victory followed by another overwhelming victory with bipartisan support in the general election.”
Bisso disagreed with Duprey’s assessment of her.
“I am sad that already the assemblywoman has chosen to attack and re-characterize my message to suit her purpose,” she said.
Bisso said she knows, as a teacher and small-business owner, that cooperation, collaboration, communication and building relationships are key to success.
“There are many important issues which affect the North Country, and its residents deserve someone in Albany who recognizes that those issues are not being resolved.
“We are still losing jobs,” she continued. “Our children are moving out of state. Four prisons have closed. Our gun rights are being diminished. Our hard-earned dollars are being funneled to entitlement programs and corporate welfare. Our children’s education is under attack, and our history being rewritten.”
A state budget passed on time, Bisso said, “does not diminish the effects which the stronghold of Albany has on the everyday lives of hardworking North Country residents. So, where has bipartisanship benefited the North Country?
“I am not Albany,” she asserted. “People are angry and want someone to stand up and fight the status quo and deliver their message to Albany.
“I intend on carrying that message and fighting hard for our way of life and the concerns of the residents of the 115th Assembly District.”
NO DEM YET
Clinton County Republican Party Chairman Randall Beach said he has no problem with a party primary.
“We don’t try to stifle anyone,” he said. “Primaries give the people a choice of who they want. That’s the system we have.”
Clinton County Democratic Party Chairman Martin Mannix said Democrats do not have a candidate lined up for the Assembly race yet.
“Once news of that (potential Republican primary) hits the street, that might motivate someone to come forward and consider it,” he said.
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