By JOE LoTEMPLIO Press-Republican
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Republican candidates for Clinton County Legislature are touting a bank of business and community service.
“We have a great mix of experience in our candidates that I think will greatly benefit the county,” Party Chairman Donald Lee said.
The Republican candidates for Areas 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 on the legislature, as well as county-treasurer candidate Susan Polhemus, were introduced at a news conference outside the Government Center Thursday morning.
Legislature candidates are: incumbent Jonathan Beach running for re-election in Area 2 in the Altona, Ellenburg area; Gerard Renadette for Area 4 in the Town of Plattsburgh; John Bernardi for Area 6 in Saranac; incumbent Mark Dame for Area 8 in the City and Town of Plattsburgh; and Rick Perry for Area 10 in the City of Plattsburgh.
Incumbent Republican Treasurer Joseph Giroux is not seeking re-election.
Polhemus is slated to run for the post against Democrat Kim Davis.
Polhemus is a member of the Peru Town Council and served as secretary to the supervisor in Peru from 2003 to 2006. She has also worked at Lake Champlain Transportation Co.
She graduated from Nazareth College in Rochester in 1982 with a degree in business and accounting and said that every job she has ever held involved accounting.
“I am very confident I can handle the duties of the treasurer,” she said. “With my town experience in municipal accounting, I understand it completely.”
Davis lost a close race for treasurer against Giroux in 2007 when she ran as Kim Kliest.
She recently left her position as branch manager of Glens Falls National Bank on Cornelia Street to run for the post.
In Area 2, Beach said he has learned much from his first two years in office.
“We’ve seen tremendous movement in the area where I grew up and love,” he said.
Beach is so far running unopposed.
Renadette said his 18 years on the Plattsburgh Town Council will help him on the legislature.
“This will be a seamless transition to this new and challenging position,” he said.
Renadette is expected to face Democrat Colin Read, a professor of economics at SUNY Plattsburgh and owner of Champlain Wine Company in downtown Plattsburgh, for the Area 4 seat.
Incumbent Democrat Sara Rowden is not running due to term limits.
Bernardi, executive director of the United Way of the Adirondack Region, said he wants to be part of the continued success of the legislature.
“I have 25 years of experience in the human-services field, and I’ve always been able to bring people together to address issues and solve problems,” he said.
Bernardi will face Democrat Patty Waldron, owner of Koffee Kat in downtown Plattsburgh.
Incumbent Robert Butler is also leaving due to term limits.
In Area 8, Dame said the county has some of the best management in the state.
“But the economy is still struggling, and we have to be ever so vigilant in watching our tax dollars,” he said.
Dame is being challenged by Democrat Robert Dolan, a retired teacher.
Perry said his 37 years of experience of public service will serve him well on the legislature in Area 10.
“We must be creative in seeking outside sources of revenue rather than continuing to raise taxes,” he said.
Perry will be facing Democrat Robert Hall, a business owner and former city councilor.
Democratic Party Chairman Martin Mannix said he believes his slate of candidates has “outstanding credentials” and that there will be some good races.
“We have years of public service in both government and the private sector, and I think we are going to see some good, spirited races, and I think our people will stand that test,” he said.
Candidates must submit petitions with the required number of party members’ signatures in order to officially get on the November ballot.
The deadline for petitions is July 11.
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