Franklin Republican caucus picks Hamm, Bartiss, DeMars

VERMONTVILLE — Republicans in the town of Franklin had a high turnout at their caucus Monday night as they chose Don Hamm and Tom Bartiss for two town council seats, along with Jacques DeMars for highway superintendent.

About 65 people squeezed into the Franklin Town Hall in Vermontville, according to town GOP committee Chairman Ed Martin.

“Everybody was looking at the crowd and thinking, ‘We really do need that community center,'” Martin said Tuesday. In an August referendum, town voters approved a plan to borrow $700,000 to build a two-story, 2,800-square-foot community center in the town’s Kate Mountain Park in Vermontville.

Franklin County Republican Committee Chairman Ray Scollin of Saranac Lake was there and said it may have been the biggest turnout of any GOP town caucus he’s been to this year. Malone’s had roughly the same number of people, he said, but Malone has 10 election districts while Franklin has only two.

By comparison, the town of Harrietstown, which has almost five times the population of Franklin, had roughly 15 Republicans at its caucus, according to Scollin.

Most of Franklin’s elected positions are up for voting in the Nov. 7 general election, but only two town council seats and the highway superintendent post are contested.

The results of the Franklin Republican caucus voting are as follows, according to Martin. In parentheses after each candidate’s name is the party in which that candidate is personally registered:

¯ Supervisor: Art Willman (Republican), 52 votes, unopposed

¯ Clerk/tax collector: Lauren LeFebvre (Democratic), 54 votes, unopposed

¯ Council (two seats): Don Hamm (R), 49; Tom Bartiss (Independence), 37; Amy McCormick (no party), 24; Nancy Bernstein (Green), 13

¯ Highway superintendent: Jacques DeMars (R), 42; Leo Law (R), 21

¯ Justice: Roger Symonds Sr. (R), 58, unopposed

Forty-two registered Democrats attended that party’s caucus on Sept. 5, choosing Bernstein and Bartiss for town council and DeMars for highway superintendent.

McCormick and Law will still be on the November ballot for town council and highway superintendent, respectively, even though neither party endorsed them. That’s because both filed to run with independent parties as well as the two mainstream ones, according to town Clerk Lauren LeFebvre.

Therefore, the Nov. 7 ballot will offer these choices, running on these party lines:

¯ Supervisor: Art Willman (D, R, independent)

¯ Clerk/tax collector: Lauren LeFebvre (D, R, independent)

¯ Council (vote for two): Tom Bartiss (D, R), Nancy Bernstein (D), Don Hamm (R, Integrity), Amy McCormick (Oak Tree)

¯ Highway superintendent (vote for one): Jacques DeMars (D, R, Integrity), Leo Law (Unity)

¯ Justice: Roger Symonds Sr. (D, R)