Press-Republican

September 12, 2013

Primary results tighten for Clinton Co. treasurer

By JOE LoTEMPLIO Press-Republican
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — The Independence Party primary race for Clinton County treasurer tightened dramatically Wednesday when write-in ballots were counted.

Kimberly Davis, the Democratic candidate, received 77 write-in votes unofficially to pull within 4 of Susan Polhemus, who received 81 votes as the candidate listed on the ballot.

With 71 absentee ballots still to be opened next Monday, the outcome remains in doubt.

“We worked hard with other candidates on absentee ballots, and I think the odds might be in our  favor,” Davis said Wednesday.

Polhemus is running as the Republican candidate.

“I am kind of disappointed. I would like to have this line (Independence), but if not, then that’s how it goes,” she said.

“But I am still on the Republican line, and I am not giving up because I still feel that I am the best candidate for treasurer.”

GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE

Polhemus is a Peru Town Council member and worked as the assistant to the supervisor from 2003 to 2006. She said she has 30 years of experience in municipal accounting and finance that she will emphasize to voters for the November election.

“I hope people will really look at both candidates and at what we have to offer and see that my government experience will make a difference,” she said.

“We don’t want someone to go in there that doesn’t know what is going on, and I know how government finance works already.”

QUIT JOB TO RUN

Davis, who in 2007 ran a close race but lost to Republican Joseph Giroux, said she wanted the voters to have a say in Tuesday’s primary. Independence Party leaders downstate picked the candidates for the ballot since there is no local leadership in the party.

“I think it (results) just shows my hard work. I spent a huge amount of time talking to people one on one, explaining the process, and I wanted to make sure people had a chance, and I think people responded to that,” Davis said.

“And that is exactly what I will do as treasurer.”

Davis was the branch manager of the Glens Falls National Bank location on

Cornelia Street in Plattsburgh before she stepped down earlier this year to concentrate on the race for treasurer.

There were 3,158 eligible voters for the primary, and Polhemus said she was disappointed with the turnout.

“The turnout is ridiculous for what the towns have to pay for this (to hold the election),” she said.

“It’s just sad.”

‘SUPER, SUPER HAPPY’

The Clinton County Legislature Independence Party primary for the Area 10 seat also took an interesting turn Wednesday.

Bobby Hall, the Democratic candidate, received 23 write-in votes to apparently edge Richard Perry, the listed candidate who got 17 votes on Tuesday.

There are 269 registered Independence Party voters in the district; 40 of 49 ballots cast were accepted.

There is one absentee ballot to count on Monday, but results were still unofficial Wednesday.

“I am super, super happy about this,” said Hall, the owner of Bobby’s Lounge on South Catherine Street in the City of Plattsburgh.

The legislature’s Area 10 covers wards 4 and 5 of the city.

“To win a write-in race is hard to do.”

Hall has experience with write-in campaigns, as he netted nearly 1,000 votes in the City of Plattsburgh mayoral race in 1989, running a strong third.

“It’s been a real challenge, but we worked hard and had a lot of support, which I appreciate greatly, and I am looking forward to a good race in November,” he said.

‘APPRECIATES HELP’

Perry, who retired last year as the city building inspector, said he will continue to work hard for the November election.

“I appreciate all the help I had, and I will maintain my positive and respectful approach to this, and in the end, my family and friends will be proud of the work I put into this,” he said.

No other results were available from the Clinton County Board of Elections Wednesday as commissioners were still reviewing ballots.

Email Joe LoTemplio:jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com