By JOE LoTEMPLIO
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Of the 21 primaries in Clinton County on Tuesday, only one features a county-wide race.
Susan Polhemus is the endorsed candidate for the Independence Party primary in the Clinton County treasurer’s race on Tuesday, Sept. 10, but Kimberly Davis has forced a primary by obtaining the required amount of signatures on a petition.
As a result, voters can choose Polhemus, the listed candidate, or write in Davis or any other candidate they prefer.
“The voters should have a choice, and that is why I am seeking that line,” Davis said.
Polhemus will be running on the Republican Party line in the November election, and Davis will be on the Democratic Party and Working Families Party lines.
There are 3,158 registered Independence Party voters in Clinton County, but no party leadership. The endorsements for county races were made by party leaders downstate after reviewing the candidate’s qualifications.
The Independence Party endorsements went mostly to Republicans, while the Working Families Party endorsements went mostly to Democrats.
Incumbent treasurer Joseph Giroux, a Republican, is retiring and not seeking re-election.
Polhemus, a Peru Town Councilor, said Davis’s entrance into the primary as a write-in candidate will be costly to taxpayers.
“Most towns don’t budget for a primary, and this one will cost our town, alone, between $3,500 and $4,000,” she said.
“She does have the right to run, but why would anyone want to make her treasurer if she is wasting taxpayer’s money?”
Polhemus said she has 30 years of experience in accounting and municipal finances that would serve her well as county treasurer. She served as the secretary to the supervisor in Peru from 2003 to 2006, and she has also worked in the finance office at the Lake Champlain Transportation Co.
“I just hope people get out and vote,” she said.
“We have that right, and people need to exercise that right.”
Davis, who ran for treasurer as Kimberly Kleist against Giroux in 2007, losing in a close race, said her background in finance and real estate make her the best choice. Her most recent position was branch manager of Glens Falls National Bank on Cornelia Street, which she left in order to run for treasurer.
She said one area she would like to focus on is giving delinquent taxpayers more opportunities to hold on to their property before it is seized by the county and sold at auction.
“I think a lot more could be done in the process to help people through outreach and education,” she said.
“We should do everything in our power to make sure people are not losing their homes that they’ve worked so hard for.”
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