SARANAC LAKE - Saranac Lake's Republican Party held a meeting in Harrietstown Town Hall on Thursday night to endorse New York Assembly and Senate candidates. They also discussed strategies for upcoming elections.
The members deliberated on the candidates for New York's 21st Congressional District and unanimously chose Elise Stefanik of Willsboro.
Bob Brown, chairman of the village Republicans, said Stefanik was the best choice.
"I think she has good experience with her family business and she got her feet wet in politics down in Washington, D.C." Brown said. "I just think, in terms of the North Country, she will do a better job for us down there.
"A lot of the country is fed up, and we think it's time for some fresh air."
The other Republicans in the race are Joe Gilbert of DeKalb Junction, Matt Doheny of Watertown and Jamie Waller of Lake Pleasant. The seat will be left open by Democratic Rep. Bill Owens, who is planning to retire. Aaron Woolf of Elizabethtown is currently the only Democrat running to replace Owens. Two Green Party candidates also plan to run: Matt Funiciello and Donald Hassig.
Incumbent Assemblywoman Janet L. Duprey in the 115 Assembly District and Sen. Betty Little in the 45th Senate District were also unanimously endorsed by the members present at the meeting.
Brown said the group felt united in the feeling that both Little and Duprey had represented their district exceedingly well. He said both candidates are particularly strong on sportsmen's concerns and education problems.
"We've had a lot of problems with this standardized testing," Brown said. "Janet is really going to town on it."
Brown said these are just two examples of their efforts to represent the citizens of Saranac Lake while in Albany. He added that Duprey is a middle-of-the-road candidate, conservative on some policies and liberal on others.
"They've both done a great job, and we want to stick with them," Brown said.
After the endorsements were made, the members switched gears and discussed strategies for their local candidates. Dianna Trummer is running for Saranac Lake mayor, and Gary Hoffman and Allie Pelleteiri are running for the Board of Trustees. The Democrats have endorsed incumbent Tom Catillaz for the position.
Trummer will run against incumbent Democrat Clyde Rabideau. Brown said Trummer has done a lot of things in the community that will help her during the campaign. Trummer has worked for 22 years as the help desk technician at North Country Community College and union president at the college for some 15 years.
"She's a working man's person," Brown said. "She wants to see more disclosure in politics."
Brown said he believes incumbent Pelletieri will win again. Pelletieri is endorsed by the Republican, Democrat and Conservative parties.