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St. Lawrence County Democrats running commercials

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CANTON — St. Lawrence County Democrats will run a series of commercials this election season touting their achievements to try to hold onto their nine-member majority in a year when every seat could be contested.

Both Democrats and Republicans have said they hope to field candidates in every one of the county’s 15 election districts.

Democrats are trying to get a jump start on the campaigns with the commercials airing on cable and local television stations. The first began in late February and will run until the middle of this month, county Democratic Committee Chairman Mark J. Bellardini said.

The commercial of still photographs and a voice-over, which also can be seen on YouTube at http://wdt.me/gHbX7G, states that the Democratic-led Legislature kept its promise to lower property taxes.

“I think it’s important to get the information out about some things we’ve done,” said Legislator Gregory M. Paquin, D-Massena. “We’re true to our word.”

Photos of Democratic legislators float across background shots of county landmarks and landscapes, along with newspaper clips of county political actions.

“Under the watchful eye of the Democrats, waste is being eliminated and government streamlined,” the commercial states.

The ad talks about how legislators lived up to their pledge to cut property taxes and develop new revenue streams. It does not detail how the promise to slash property taxes by the same amount they were increased in the previous year was part of a deal to have the state Legislature approve home-rule legislation allowing the county to raise the local sales tax from 3 percent to 4 percent.

The commercial also boasts that Democrats successfully collected millions of dollars in outstanding tribal/state compact funds.

“We’ve been able to accomplish a lot, trying to improve the region and the county fiscal picture,” said Legislative Chairman Jonathan S. Putney, D-Waddington.

It is not too early to remind voters that Democrats are leading the county in the right direction, Mr. Bellardini said.

“Those are all our achievements,” he said. “We’ve got to get the message out. It’s a big county.”

Mr. Bellardini would not say how much the media campaign, which is paid for by the county Democratic Committee, will cost, but he said the price tag is hefty.

“It’s weighing heavy on the campaign chest,” he said.

Other commercials will start in late March and continue through May, after which there will be a break before political ads get into full swing for the election season, Mr. Bellardini said.

Democratic candidates also will canvass communities with their message because voters like to talk to people face-to-face, he said.

“We’re going to do a heavy door-to-door campaign,” Mr. Bellardini said.

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