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Tupper village board election becomes a race

TUPPER LAKE — A third candidate for village board filed his petitions last week, making this campaign for two village board seats a three-person race.

Eric Shaheen filed his petitions to run on the Maple Leaf Party line on Thursday, according to Franklin County Republican Election Commissioner Tracy Sparks.

Shaheen could not be reached for comment by press time Monday.

He is third candidate to run for two available two-year seats on the board. Trustee Clint Hollingsworth is running for reelection, and Jason McClain is also running for a seat currently held by outgoing Trustee David “Haji” Maroun.

Shaheen ran for town council in 2015 but was not elected then.

In a Facebook post on May 7, he gave what he dubbed his “first official rant on Facebook,” taking issue with the village board’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Normally I would never do this, but I can no longer sit back and listen to these idiots that we call local politicians,” Shaheen wrote.

Citing Enterprise articles on Mayor Paul Maroun and Trustee Ron LaScala’s interactions with businesses, specifically, Stewart’s Shop, Shaheen said the two lied and acted unprofessionally.

He said Maroun’s statement that he saw 32 people in Stewart’s, most not wearing masks, was a lie, adding that he’s never seen that many people there at once.

He also said he was mad about LaScala’s confrontation with a customer who refused to wear a mask in the store, which ended in LaScala blocking his entrance to the shop.

“Stewart’s management should have had Ron LaScala arrested just for plain stupidity for what he did to their customers,” Shaheen wrote. “I know stupidity is not a law, but it should be.”

He also took issue with construction crews being allowed to come into town to do work on the fence at the municipal baseball field, while other projects were at a standstill.

He said the mask mandate that Maroun, who is also a Franklin County legislator, introduced at the county level in May pushed him “over the edge” to start speaking on local politics.

“If you want to wear a mask, then wear one,” Shaheen wrote. “If you don’t want to wear one, then don’t.”

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