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Gilbert considers congressional bid

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CANTON — St. Lawrence County Emergency Services Director Joseph M. Gilbert, a Republican, is considering a run against U.S. Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh.

“I haven’t made any final decisions,” Mr. Gilbert said.

A committee to draft Mr. Gilbert for Congress has formed and a website, draftjoegilbertforcongress.com, created to encourage him to run for the 21st Congressional District.

Mr. Gilbert will announce his intentions at a press conference at 2 p.m. Aug. 3 at his family’s farm, 56 Pollock Road, Morley.

Mr. Gilbert is president of the Northern New York Tea Party. He was appointed emergency services director of St. Lawrence County in May 2012.

He is a 24-year veteran of the Army with three tours in Iraq and two Bronze Stars.

Mr. Owens won a term for the third time last year when he beat Republican challenger Matthew A. Doheny, Watertown.

Mr. Gilbert said he was thinking about running not so much against the job Mr. Owens is doing but to represent the area differently during a time of high national debt, a weakened military and a stagnant economy.

“Pick a topic. He is just silent. It’s really the job that’s not getting done,” Mr. Gilbert said. “It’s gotten out of control and it’s too expensive. I think we have taken the wrong turn.”

Mr. Gilbert said he will take the next week to consider how a run for Congress would affect his job and life.

“I’ve been seriously giving it a lot of thought,” he said. “My first priority right now is the people of St. Lawrence County.”

Mr. Gilbert, a native of Ogdensburg, and his wife, Laurie, have two children, Mackenzie, 5, and Ethan, 3.

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