Amy Tresidder looked out into the crowd and introduced herself.
Patty Ritchie looked out into the crowd and said, "Many of you know me."
So it goes in the state Senate race between Mrs. Tresidder, an Oswego County legislator, and Mrs. Ritchie, the incumbent of Heuvelton. Mrs. Ritchie has the resources and the experience to make herself known. Mrs. Tresidder does not — and she doesn't exactly have the natural ability to do so, either, which she herself acknowledges.
Their comments came at a meet-the-candidates event at the Black River Valley Club in Watertown today, and their speeches offered a stark contrast in their campaigning styles and temperaments.
Mrs. Tresidder, a Democrat, talked about how growing up in DeKalb, she learned humility. She finds it hard, she said, to talk about her accomplishments. She's content to let others take the limelight.
In other words: She's not a natural politician.
Mrs. Ritchie, a Republican, has grown into the role. She was first elected in 2010, and spent a decade as the St. Lawrence County clerk.
So she's used to going door-to-door.
She told the crowd — a group of women involved in real estate — that she knocked on a door recently and a voice from inside responded weakly, "Help."
She walked in and a woman was sitting in the chair and couldn't get up. Mrs. Ritchie asked the woman if she needed help standing. The woman said no, she just needed help cooking hamburgers, could Mrs. Ritchie, a state senator, the chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee, do it?
After inquiring if she was being serious, Mrs. Ritchie learned that yes, the woman was being serious. So Mrs. Ritchie put two hamburgers on the grill. The woman told her to put them in the toaster for five minutes on both sides, too, to make sure they were properly cooked.
It's not clear whether Mrs. Ritchie's culinary boast won her any votes at the Black River Valley Club. But Mrs. Ritchie said that the woman who was stuck in her chair — and her husband, who was also apparently home the whole time while Mrs. Ritchie was cooking burgers — has promised to support her on Nov. 6.