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Appointed St. Lawrence County clerk launches campaign to lose the job


In case you didn't know: Gavin Regan is a loser.

I am not being derogatory. Just stating a fact. Regan has tried twice to be elected to the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators. Twice he has lost.

Last week he set the wheels in motion for a third loss at elected office.

Regan is a candidate for the St. Lawrence County clerk job that opened up when Patty Ritchie moved on to bigger pastures in Albany this year. Our new governor, perhaps thinking it would bolster fellow Democrat Regan's chances of winning the seat in November, recently appointed him clerk.

Not a bad plan on its face. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo apparently didn't get the memo that Regan is a tested loser when it comes to politics.

The governor probably has heard about it by now.

Regan appears to have fashioned his campaign strategy after the old engineering design principle whose acronym is KISS, or "Keep it Simple, Stupid."

Except his "simple" is not the "basic, easy to follow" definition used by engineers following that principle. Regan is using the other definition of "simple." The one that is interchangeable with "stupid."

Again, I am not mudslinging. Just stating a fact.

Regan walked into his job last week and within a few hours fired Mary Lou Rupp, the woman who had been acting clerk after Ritchie left and before he was appointed. That's Stupid.

Then he said he made the move for "budgetary reasons" and expected the world to believe that he didn't fire her because she happens to be the Republican candidate running against him for the job in November. That's keeping it really stupid, stupid.

I have yet to find anyone - staunch Democrats included - who thinks that firing Rupp was a good idea. She has worked in the office for seven years, a couple of those as Ritchie's right-hand woman. She knows how things work and could very well have been an asset to Regan, whose experience in the county clerk's office before the appointment has been limited to things like getting his driver's license renewed.

If the smooth operation of the clerk's office during this transition period was his paramount concern, Regan would have recognized that keeping Rupp - even if it felt like he was living with his ex-wife following a divorce - was the right thing to do.

A thinking person cannot see firing Rupp as anything but a vindictive political move against an opponent. It's hard to see any positive outcome that Regan might have been hoping for when he chose to do it. Voters tend to frown on vindictive political moves cloaked as "budgetary concerns."

Maybe he didn't think before he did it. Or maybe he thought his appointment to the job might increase his chances of winning the election and would spoil his perfect record as a loser. If that was the case, he succeeded wildly.

The campaign has barely started and Regan has already managed to KISS goodbye any chance he had of winning. His record as a loser will remain intact.

And that means Rupp - who has never tried running for political office before this - is a winner.

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