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Stanford says he’ll seek return to Lewis County Legislature


LOWVILLE — With his announcement that he’ll run for a third term, Paul M. Stanford, D-Watson, becomes the first Lewis County legislator to say he wants his seat for the next two years. So far, no one has announced a candidacy against him.

“I’ve got a mission to keep on going,” Mr. Stanford said, admitting the reasons he sought the position still exist. “The people just want the truth. That’s why I wanted to run to begin with. ... I knew there was back-door politics.”

He said he fields a large number of calls from constituents but also receives many calls and questions from outside District 6.

“People know I tell it like it is. I get tons of calls, and I answer them all,” he said.

Most recently, he said, he received a lot of questions about the proposed county building on Outer Stowe Street.

“I didn’t support it,” Mr. Sanford said. “It’s a needed thing, but we need to put it off. We need to bank up.”

The county is awaiting proposals for construction of the building. For now, he said, the radio communications upgrade is a larger concern.

“It’s got to be done. It’s got to be implemented by a certain date. Right now, we don’t know how we are going to pay for it,” he said.

Mr. Sanford said residents need jobs, and his ideas involve energy.

“Big energy ... We have power dams that go all through the county and all these wind towers. Why can’t we be a piece of that?” he said. “We can bring more of that to the county by inviting companies here. We can’t just say it needs to be done. We have to help create these jobs.”

Giving tax breaks to companies could attract them to the county.

“Taxing a company isn’t economic growth. Creating jobs is economic growth,” he said.

Mr. Stanford also identified recreation as an industry.

“It’s an extra,” he said. “It brings in money through sales tax, but it’s not creating new jobs.”

He cited this past winter as an example.

“We had the highest snowfall we’ve had in years, but we have the highest unemployment in the state,” he said.

Mr. Stanford’s passion for services becomes evident when begins speaking about Lewis County General Hospital.

“It’s ours,” he said. “It belongs to the county, and it will stay belonging to the county.”

He logged more than 18 years of employment at LCGH. He started out washing pots and pans, eventually learned to cook and recently retired after 40 years in food service.

“The doctor said I can’t lift, but I can still work in other ways,” he said.

Throughout his career, he worked a lot with the senior citizen population.

“I want to make sure everyone gets taken care of,” he said.

When asked if he thought that was a stereotypical promise of a Democratic candidate, he admitted it is a stigma, but draws inspiration from his biggest political influence, the late Republican state Assemblyman H. Robert Nortz.

“If people think I just want to give handouts, well, that ain’t for me,” he said. “I want to be fair; I want to help people. We can do that by creating good, clean industry that gets people jobs. People that help themselves help the county.”

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