The residents of Area 3 of the Clinton County Legislature were well served in Tuesday's election on many fronts.

Not because it looks like incumbent Republican Mark Henry is the winner over Democrat Jerry Marking, but because the way the race unfolded.

The contest was a re-match of a special election in February of 2018 when Henry, the former Chazy town supervisor, barely beat Marking, a former City of Plattsburgh firefighter and union representative, by just 19 votes.

The two also battled neck-and-neck in the Independence Party primary earlier this year, when Henry won that line by just three votes.

This week, it was just as close with Henry leading by a mere 31 votes after the polls closed.

There are still 65 to 70 or so absentee ballots to count, but it would take a stark outcome of those ballots for Marking to pull off the victory it appears.

The fact that these two candidates have run three such close races tells the voters a few things.

First, both candidates were qualified to hold the office they were seeking.

Henry, with a long career in law enforcement with Customs and Border Patrol, and with his time as supervisor and on the legislature, has shown to be a competent, reasonable member of government.

Marking's long career in city services, and his dealings with the mayor and Common Council of the city as a union representative, also certainly seems to have given him an understanding of how government should work.

The voters also came to realize that both candidates were going to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to recruit votes.

By all accounts, both men worked tirelessly during the campaign, going door-to-door, appearing at events, making phone calls and making sure all bases were covered.

Both candidates spent money as well, although nothing like the major campaigns we see at the state and federal level.

Yet still, running for local office, a job that pays $17,500 a year, is not cheap, and these candidates were not afraid to spend what they needed to.

Not only did the candidates and their teams work tremendously hard, they also worked clean.

There was no negative campaigning with mud slinging at each other, and no underhanded maneuvers that we are aware of .

Just two guys touting themselves and trying to convince voters that they were the best person for the job.

It seemed to work has turnout in the district, which covers all of Chazy and part of Beekmantown, was fairly strong considering that it was an off election year with no major state or federal races.

What was the difference that put Henry over the top? Who is to say.

Did he work harder than Marking? Again, that's almost impossible to gauge.

While the outcome of Tuesday's vote is still somewhat in doubt, there is no doubt that the voters of the area were not cheated when it comes to political campaigns.

They got two candidates willing to put the work in, express their views and ideas and keep it civil.

No matter who won, the residents of Area 3 would be represented as well as can be expected in local government.

That's the way it should work.

 

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