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Waddington native honored by county Republican Committee

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WADDINGTON — A Waddington native has been named this year’s recipient of the highest honor granted by the St. Lawrence County Republican Committee.

Businessman Russell B. Strait will be honored with the Betsy Kaplan Award at a candidate meet-and-greet event Wednesday in Ogdensburg hosted by the county Republican Committee.

“Russ introduced me to politics in the early ’90s when I recognized what he was doing as a Republican committeeman,” former committee Chairwoman Nancy K. Martin said. “He’s been responsible for recruiting Republican candidates. He’s conducted caucuses and gathered signatures. He is dedicated to the conservative ideals of the Republican Party. I hold him in the utmost regard for his community work and his dedication to his family.”

Mr. Strait began his political career in the early 1970s, when Waddington Mayor R. Bruce Pemberton asked him to serve on the town’s Republican Committee.

“I’ve met a lot of interesting people,” Mr. Strait said. “It has fleshed out my sense of humor, and I have formed some great relationships with community members. I have gained a healthy respect for anyone engaged in the opposition. I would encourage everyone to be involved in politics.”

Mr. Strait operates Harrison A. Rogers Insurance Agency in Waddington and Norfolk and is a director of NBT Bank. He has served for two decades as chairman of the Waddington Village Recreation Committee and is chairman of the village’s Joint Recreation Committee.

He is a 26-year member of the board of directors of Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, Ogdensburg, and was its chairman from 2007 to 2010. Mr. Strait is the town and village representative to the St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency.

The meet-and-greet event will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Freight House Restaurant, Ogdensburg.

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