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New Lewis GOP chairman wants leaders willing to work together

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LOWVILLE — Lewis County’s new Republican Party chief hopes to promote local political leaders willing to collaborate on issues, regardless of party.

“We do need to work together across the aisles,” said Michael F. Young, Lowville, who recently replaced former Lyonsdale town Supervisor Roscoe K. “Rocky” Fawcett Jr. at the party helm. “We need to all come together and work for the best interest of the county or the town or the village. We don’t need to be as divisive as we see on the federal level.”

Mr. Young said the purpose of local party leadership is to find strong candidates who stand for Republican values like smaller government and self-sufficiency and help them get elected, then trust them to make effective decisions.

“We’re not involved in governing,” he said.

The new GOP chairman, a longtime party supporter who operates a private law practice here and is a member of the county public defenders group, said his immediate goal is to assist the party’s candidates for the 10 seats on the county Legislature and other local offices through next month’s general election.

“Our goal is to provide the resources and support to Republican candidates,” he said. “That’s really what we’re there for.”

Mr. Young said he also plans to work on filling vacancies on the GOP executive committee, as well as on county and town committees, to more effectively respond to party members’ requests and seek qualified candidates for public office.

“We want to be able to have a system to find people who are interested and competent,” he said.

On a more long-term basis, the party also must find ways to be more transparent and open, particularly to the younger generation, to get more residents interested in local government, Mr. Young said.

That should lead to future leaders who will “move the county forward and support common sense policies that make Lewis County the place to live and the place to come to,” he said.

Mr. Young said he hopes to increase the number of party activities and hold committee meetings at least once per quarter, with those sessions held at locations throughout the county.

He also suggested that executive committee members should reflect the county’s geographic diversity.

Mr. Young, a past district attorney, serves as president of the Lewis County General Hospital board of managers and on the Lowville Academy and Central School and Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services boards, among others. He also ran for a seat on the state Supreme Court in 2011.

The party’s annual dinner will be held on Oct. 24 at the Ridge View Inn, 6912 Bardo Road, with cocktails at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.

The cost is $30 per person or $50 per couple.

The keynote speaker will be Raymond A. Meier, a former Republican state senator who now works for law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King from its Utica office.

Preregistration is requested by Oct. 15 by calling Jean Demko at 376-3216 or Judy Karelus at 376-2693 or sending an email to jmdemko1@gmail.com.

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