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St. Lawrence County Republicans looking for candidates

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As another Republican St. Lawrence County legislator has decided not to run again, the party’s leadership is putting out a call for candidates in seven districts.

Legislator Daniel F. Parker, R-Potsdam, has decided not to run again because his job at Kruger Energy, a developer of sustainable energy projects, keeps him on the road.

“My work is taking me farther abroad than I was expecting it to,” Mr. Parker said. “I don’t have as much control over my schedule.”

If he cannot keep a commitment to attend legislative meetings, Mr. Parker said, he does not want to hold the office. Legislator Scott M. Sutherland, R-Pierrepont, previously announced he was not running.

“We still have people we’re looking for,” Republican Chairman Thomas L. Jenison said.

In addition to trying to find candidates for Mr. Parker’s and Mr. Sutherland’s seats, the GOP is looking for Republicans or Conservatives to run against Stephen M. Putman in Canton’s District 9, Jim A. Bunstone in Potsdam’s District 10, Anthony J. Arquiett, Helena, in District 13, Gregory M. Paquin in Massena’s District 14, and Legislative Chairman Jonathan S. Putney, Waddington, District 15.

Democrats control the board with a 9-6 majority.

“It’s time for a change,” Mr. Jenison said.

County Democratic Chairman Mark J. Bellardini did not return a call on candidates his party has found to oppose Republicans.

Legislator Mark H. Akins, R-Lisbon, who does not plan to seek another term, said he hoped for competition in every seat.

“I think everybody should be challenged and let voters decide. In order to have the system work properly, people have to run,” he said. “More people have to get involved to make a difference.”

Potential candidates should run regardless of whether they think they can win, he said.

“Don’t worry about losing,” Mr. Akins said. “Just put your best foot forward.”

So far, Democrat Vernon D. “Sam” Burns, Ogdensburg, is challenged by Donald J. Hooper in District 1. Former Republican legislator David W. Forsythe is running to replace Mr. Akins in District 2. Republican Joseph R. Lightfoot, Ogdensburg, is unopposed in District 3. Republican Joel J. LaPierre is running to replace Alex A. MacKinnon, R-Fowler, who is retiring.

Republican Travis E. Dann is running to unseat Democrat Donald A. Peck, Gouverneur, in District 5. Republican Larry D. Denesha hopes to beat Democrat Frederick S. Morrill, DeKalb Junction, in District 6. Kevin D. Acres, R-Madrid, is unopposed in District 8.

Democrat Jason A. Clark, Norfolk, is being challenged by Republican John H. Burke in District 12.

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