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Lewis County flip-flop changed voters minds, too, says one

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LOWVILLE — A Lewis County legislator ousted in Tuesday’s election says his recent flip-flop on the county’s $1 million purchase agreement for Lewis Lanes cost him his seat.

Republican Andrea J. Moroughan won more than double the ballots cast for Paul M. Stanford, D-Watson, 424-208, but Mr. Stanford said he wouldn’t do it differently.

“I brought the truth. I wouldn’t have kept my mouth shut to win,” he said. “If I can’t tell the truth, I shouldn’t be in that seat.”

This was not the first time Mrs. Moroughan has defeated Mr. Stanford; a 1990 race for Watson town justice ended in Mrs. Moroughan’s favor by a similar ratio, 379-157.

Now, she said, she’s preparing for her new term in office by doing research.

“I have a lot to do,” she said. “I’ll be the first to admit that.”

One of the first items on her agenda is to assess the space needs of county agencies.

While a study already has been conducted, “I want to see it with my own eyes, see the buildings, see the need,” she said.

Her hands-on approach is part of doing her homework. “I plan on asking questions, listening to people and taking my time,” she said.

Another change on the Board of Legislators in January will be the first Democrat to serve Lowville’s District 5. Richard A. Chartrand said he does not think the 9:1 party ratio will make a difference.

“I had more Republicans than Democrats that called me for signs,” he said. “I will represent, regardless of party, all of the residents in the village of Lowville.”

It will not be the first time he has been in the minority or worked with a largely Republican board. He said he was appointed to the Lewis County General Hospital board of managers for two terms by a previous Board of Legislators with eight Republicans.

A bigger challenge, he said, will be the shortage of experience on the new board.

“With just three people returning, they have to lead us,” he said.

As for what he brings to the table, he said he hopes to be named to the Ways and Means Committee as he has a lot of budget experience.

Also, as the only engineer on the new board, he said, he expects an assignment on the Building and Grounds Committee would be a good fit.

In District 8, Lawrence L. Dolhof will return to the board. Mr. Dolhof, who defeated Duane C. DeLair, served as legislator from 2000-03.

“I think my past experience will certainly be a big help to the board,” he said.

The winner of the yet-to-be-determined District 7 race will be new to the board.

Gregory M. Kulzer, who placed six votes ahead of C. Lee Hinkleman, wouldn’t take a guess at a winner.

“Win, lose or draw, I did my best,” he said, but he was already happy with voters.

“It’s nice to know the people listened to what I had to say,” he said. “Especially when they picked my name on the ballot way on the bottom. They took the time to go past the Republican, Democrat and Conservative lines,” said Mr. Kulzer, who is a registered Republican but appeared only on an independent line.

Jeffrey F. Beyer placed third in the race for the open seat.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hinkleman said he will wait “with nervous anticipation” until the 23 absentee ballots are opened next week. “I am confident I will prevail in the end,” he said.

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