St. Armand has area’s only contested town election

Amid a swirl of federal, state and county races, some towns and one village in the greater Tri-Lakes area will also have candidates on the ballot Nov. 6.

This is not a year when town terms of office normally end, but vacancies must be filled after elected officials leave.

County boards of elections expect to issue sample ballots later this week, but the list of candidates who will appear on those ballots is final.

Essex County

St. Armand is the only town in the region with a contested race. Voters there have a choice to make for town council: Karl Law, a Republican, and Jacob Vennie-Vollrath, on the Common Sense party line, are vying for the one-year remainder of a term.

The seat is being vacated by Councilman Sam Grimone, a Republican who was appointed last year to fill the second half of a four-year term that was vacated by Dean Montroy when he was elected town supervisor. Grimone served one year and decided to let voters choose someone to serve the last year of the term.

St. Armand includes the hamlet of Bloomingdale and part of the village of Saranac Lake.

While other towns have one candidate for each opening on the ballot, Wilmington falls one short. Two assessor positions are up for election, but Blanche Peck, a Republican, is the only candidate running. She and Marcel Bruce were appointed to the positions to replace Dana Peck and Dave Wainwright, and now she is running for the three-year remainder of a term. No one is on the ballot for the other post, which would fill the last year of a four-year term. Write-in votes may determine a winner.

Also in Wilmington, James Selkirk is running for a four-year term as justice after being appointed to succeed Robert Kirby, who moved away. Selkirk is on the Justice party line.

A justice term of four years is also open in the town of North Elba, which includes Lake Placid, Ray Brook and part of Saranac Lake. Rabbi Alec Friedmann is running on the Democratic and Justice party lines.

The towns of Jay and Keene have no openings up for election this year.

County-wide, five people are running unopposed for four-year terms. As Sheriff Richard Cutting prepares to step down at the end of the year, David Reynolds is running to succeed him on the Republican and Conservative party lines. Meanwhile, county Treasurer Michael Diskin is seeking re-election.

Three people are running for county coroner. Jay Heald, a funeral home director from Elizabethtown, is the only non-incumbent of these. A Republican, he would fill the post currently held by Paul Connery of Ticonderoga. Meanwhile, Walter “Smitty” Marvin of Elizabethtown (Adirondack Unified party) and Kellie Valentine of Moriah Center (Republican) are running for re-election.

Franklin County

Plenty of signs and letters to the editor attest to this county’s contested races for sheriff and District 7 legislator.

Jordanna Mallach of Saranac Lake is challenging incumbent Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill of Malone for a four-year term. She will appear on the Democratic and Working Families party lines; he will be on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines.

The departure of Barbara Rice, D-Saranac Lake, for a state job left an opening on the county Board of Legislators for District 7, which covers the towns of Harrietstown and Franklin. The other legislators appointed Democrat Melinda “Lindy” Ellis, and now she is running for election against fellow Saranac Lake resident Jim Murnane. She will appear on the Working Families line as well as Democratic; he will be on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines. They are seeking the last year remaining in Rice’s term; the position will be up for election again next year.

Also countywide, three incumbent coroners are seeking re-election: Ronald B. Keough of Saranac Lake (Republican), Brian Langdon of Malone (Democratic) and Shawn Stuart of Tupper Lake (Republican).

While many villages hold elections in the spring, the village of Tupper Lake holds its in November. Two members of the village Board of Trustees are running unopposed for new two-year terms: Clint Hollingsworth (Democratic) and David “Haji” Maroun (Republican).

In the town of Santa Clara, current Justice Michelle Brown Garcia (Republican) is running unopposed.

The towns of Harrietstown, Brighton, Franklin and Duane have no openings up for election this year.

Hamilton County

A new coroner candidate decided to get cheesy this election. Instead of running as a Republican or Democrat, he’s with the Pizza Party.

Matthew Miller is running unopposed for county coroner in District 1, which serves the towns of Indian Lake and Inlet. He would replace Donald Townsend, who is not seeking re-election. Miller could not be reached to determine if he will host a pizza party on election night.

Virginia Jennings (Republican) is running for re-election as coroner for District 4, serving Long Lake, and Donald Braunius (Republican) is doing the same for District 2, serving the towns of Arietta, Lake Pleasant and Morehouse.

Meanwhile in Long Lake, town Justice Brian Farr (Republican) is seeking another four-year term.