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Wind drives local politics: Candidates increase in Steuben towns with proposed wind farms; Republican primaries slated for Hartsville, Howard, Cohocton  

Steuben County towns featuring the biggest wind battles are also the towns that boast the larger numbers of candidates running for elected office in the fall.

According to information from the Steuben County Board of Elections, the towns of Hartsville, Cohocton and Howard all feature Republican primaries with at least one wind farm opponent throwing their hat in the ring. Primary day is from noon to 9 p.m. Sept. 18, while the general election will be Nov. 6.

One of the most vocal of the wind opponents in the area – Hartsville’s Steve Dombert – is on both the Republican and Democrat lines for a two-year supervisor term. Dombert will face incumbent Republican Gene Garrison and Republican challenger Ken Porter for the Republican bid for supervisor.

As for a four-year term as town council member, incumbent Democrat Mattie Parini will face a challenge from Conservative Larry McCormick and Republican Michele HerrNeckar for her seat.

Meanwhile, Republican Clerk Kay Miles and Republican Highway Superintendent Thomas DeWall are both unopposed in their bids to return to office for another two years. Republican Benjamin Ray is unopposed for filling the remainder of a two-year term on the town council.

In the Town of Howard, there will be a Republican primary to fill two councilman seats, with incumbents Robert Palmer and William Hatch facing a challenge from Eric Hosmer, a wind opponent. Supervisor Don Evia, listed on the Republican and Conservative lines, is unopposed for a two-year term, while Clerk Loreen Karr also is unopposed in her bid to return for two more years.

The Town of Cohocton will have Republican primaries for the supervisor, clerk, justice, two councilman seats, highway superintendent and two assessor positions, spearheaded by an anti-wind development contingent there.

Incumbent Supervisor Jack Zigenfus is being challenged by Robert Strasburg II for a two-year term, incumbent Sandra Riley will face off against Blair Hall for a two-year clerk term, incumbent Justice Hal Graham will be opposed by Stoner Clark for a four-year position, while incumbent councilmen Milton LeVesque and Wayne Hunt are being challenged by Cesare Taccone and Steve Sick. The other Republican primaries include incumbent Thomas Simons against Charles Mohr for a two-year highway superintendent position, and incumbents Joanne Damboise and Mark Densmore – who also is listed on the Conservative line – facing off against Rebecca Conrad and Christina Brautigam for two four-year assessor slots.

In the Town of Jasper, there will be Republican primaries for the two-year positions of supervisor, clerk and a pair of four-year councilpersons. Incumbent Supervisor Lucille Kernan will see a challenge from Terry Lewis, incumbent Clerk Eileen Heckman will square off against Sheila Leach; and incumbent councilmen Lewis Nye and Arnold Holt are being challenged by Joyce Clark. Republican incumbent Highway Superintendent Terrance Brewer is unopposed for a two-year term, while incumbent Republican Assessor Donald Whitehead has no opponent for a four-year term.

Allan Johnson, Steuben County Board of Elections Democratic commissioner, said there is still the potential for more candidates to be added to the ballots. Independent petitions are not due until between Aug. 14-21, and Democrats still need to conduct caucuses in 21 of the county’s 32 towns.

“A lot of our towns have Democrats who caucus, so we won’t know who all the candidates are until all the caucuses are done,” Johnson said. “They have until the 25th of September to get those to us.

“Anytime between now and then, the Democrats will be having caucuses, so we’ll probably be adding more candidates,” he added, “and, I know there are a number of independent petitions out there.”

Among the towns in the county that may be conducting Democratic caucuses include Cohocton, Fremont, Greenwood, Hornellsville, Howard, Jasper and Wayland.

Many communities have no contested races for offices yet.

In the Town of Canisteo, incumbents are all slated to run unopposed. Supervisor John Peisher, a Democrat, is seeking another four-year term at the helm. Republicans – Councilman David Crosby, Clerk Nancy McMindes, and Justice Gary Forshee – all are seeking four-year terms. Republican Carlton Howland, who was appointed earlier this year to fill the unexpired term of Highway Superintendent James Drake, will seek the position for another four years.

In the Town of Dansville, Supervisor Tom Hager, Clerk Nancy Moir and Highway Superintendent Ray Acomb, all Republicans, are running unopposed for two-year terms. Republicans David Emo, an incumbent councilman, and Roger Briggs are seeking to fill two four-year councilman positions.

In the Town of Fremont, the Republican incumbents are all seeking to return to office without opposition. Supervisor Carol Burns, Clerk Norma Kilbury and Highway Superintendent Michael Smith all are running for two-year terms, while councilmen Richard Bates and Larry Hammond are pursuing four-year terms.

In the Town of Greenwood, incumbent Republicans Leonard Campanella and Bryan Higgins are both unopposed in their bids for re-election to four-year terms.

In the Town of Hornellsville, there are no challengers for the Republican incumbents running for office again, Supervisor Ken Isaman, Clerk Sheryl Isaman, Highway Superintendent Ray Kring and Tax Collector Brigette Smith all are running for two-year terms. Town board members Angela Caldwell and Roger Schulitz are running for four-year terms.

In the Town of Troupsburg, all the candidates are incumbent Republicans. Supervisor Fred Potter, Clerk Paula LeBarron and Highway Superintendent Ronald Button are all running for two-year terms, while Justice Michael Whitfield, and councilpersons Angela Whitfield and Lisa Robinson are seeking four-year terms.

In the Town of Wayland, there will be a Republican primary for highway superintendent, pitting Daniel Cansdale against Raymond Thielges III. Supervisor George Ott is running unopposed for a four-year term, and is listed on both the Republican and Conservative lines, while Republican incumbents – Clerk Beverly Robinson, Justice Thomas Recktenwald and councilpersons Jody Tonkery and Virginia Huber – are running unopposed for four-year terms.

By Rob Montana
Staff Writer

Hornell Evening Tribune

31 July 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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