The scene was chaos, barely controlled, at the Jefferson County Board of Elections on Thursday as candidates and party representatives handed in their last-minute party designating petitions in what may prove to be one of the livelier election seasons in recent memory.
More than 373 petitions were filed by the 5 p.m. deadline for county, city, town and village races.
As members of opposing parties rubbed shoulders in the lobby of the office, Republican Election Commissioner Jerry O. Eaton said he could not recall a greater level of interest or more political infighting in recent years.
Theres been a dramatic increase in the amount of competition in local races, especially among Republicans, Mr. Eaton said.
And the process is far from over, according to Democratic Election Commissioner Babette M. Hall. Both commissioners noted a flurry of Freedom of Information Law requests by individuals looking to inspect petitions.
We anticipate we may potentially have some challenges at the end of this week and early next week given the amount of FOIL requests and public visitors to our office, Mr. Eaton said.
Ms. Hall said there had been 18 FOIL requests submitted so far, most of them on Thursday. Mr. Eaton noted: Ive seen more people FOIL petitions today than in the four years Ive been here as commissioner.
Some of the most contentious races will take place at the town supervisor level, where it is rare to have primaries when there are incumbent candidates, he said.
In Cape Vincent, Republican Kirk E. Grant will run against incumbent Urban C. Hirschey on the Republican line.
In LeRay, Republican Walter H. VanTassel will run against his party counterpart, incumbent Ronald C. Taylor.
In Pamelia, Scott J. Allen will run against incumbent Lawrence C. Longway for supervisor. Both are Republicans.
In Theresa, Republicans Timothy H. Tanner and Steven Marcinkowski are set to run against each other for their partys endorsement before the winner faces off against Democrat Howard C. Schnettler Jr. in the general election.
For seats on the county Board of Legislators, there will be a primary race for the District 10 seat between Republicans Jeremiah J. Maxon and Jayson J. Jones before the winner goes up against Democrat Donna J. Bohn.
The seat is open this year after longtime legislator Michael W. Behling, R-Adams, announced that he would be stepping down when his term ends.
In District 6, Republican Jonathan L. Hirschey will be gunning for the seat of incumbent Democrat Michael F. Astafan.
Republican Patrick R. Jareo is running unopposed for the District 10 seat of Legislator Barry M. Ormsby, R-Belleville. Mr. Ormsby announced that he was retiring from politics this year after five terms on the board.
Running unopposed are Republican incumbents Michael J. Docteur, District 1; Robert J. Thomas, District 2; Philip N. Reed, District 3; Michael A. Montigelli, District 5; John D. Peck, District 7; James A. Nabywaniec, District 8; Robert D. Ferris, District 11; Chairwoman Carolyn D. Fitzpatrick, District 12; Scott A. Gray, District 13; Jennie M. Adsit, District 14, and Anthony J. Doldo, District 15.
Allen T. Drake, the boards only other Democrat, is running unopposed for District 4.
Gizelle J. Meeks, the deputy Jefferson County clerk, is running unopposed to replace her boss, Cheryl D. Lane, after Mrs. Lane announced she would not seek a second term this year.
In the town of Rodman supervisor race, Democrat Stacey Berry is set to run against Republican Gary R. Stinson.
Several candidates for town supervisor positions are running unopposed.
Adams: Republican David W. Kellogg
Alexandria: Republican Dale D. Hunneyman
Antwerp: Republican John R. Shaw
Brownville: Republican Richard D. Lane
Champion: Terry L. Buckley is running with the endorsement of both Democrats and Republicans
Ellisburg: Republican William H. Fulkerson
Henderson: Republican John Culkin Jr.
Lorraine: Republican Vincent W. Moore
Lyme: Democrat Scott G. Aubertine
Orleans: Republican Kevin C. Rarick
Rutland: Republican Gary D. Eddy
Watertown: Democrat Joel R. Bartlett
Worth: Democrat Judith A. Nichols
The race for mayor of the village of Alexandria Bay will be between Republicans Nicholas R. Speach and Danielle L. Jury.
Republicans Allen L. Bush and Michael L. Cocco will run against each other for mayor of the village of Evans Mills.
Several candidates are running for village mayor positions unopposed:
Black River: Republican Leland J. Carpenter
Brownville: Republican Patrick C. Connor
Chaumont: Democrat Valerie E. Rust
Deferiet: Republican Janet M. Zando
Sackets Harbor: Republican Vincent J. Battista III