Jefferson County legislators, including chairman, face primaries

WWNY Jefferson County legislators, including chairman, face primaries

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Jefferson County Republican lawmakers are facing challenges from within their party, most notably, the head of the legislature, Scott Gray.

Gray is running for his 11th term. He has served three as legislature chair, making him the longest running in that position.

Gray says he’ll run on his record, which includes keeping the county fiscally sound and navigating the last year under a pandemic.

His challenger is T.J. Babcock, a graduate of General Brown High School. Babcock is operations manager at the H.P. Hood plant in LaFargeville.

Babcock says he wants people in Watertown to have another option besides Gray, who’s been on the job for nearly 20 years.

“My opponent or the incumbent has been in there for 22 years. We have been doing the same thing for 22 years and what is being done isn’t working because we aren’t seeing new businesses come to this area and, in fact, we are seeing businesses leave,” said Babcock.

“I would challenge anybody who wants to run for the seat to match my dedication that I have given to the community over the year and over my 20 years. I’ve never occupied this seat with a sense of entitlement. I always knew it belongs to the public, it doesn’t belong to me,” said Gray.

District 3 Legislator Phil Reed is facing a primary this Summer. His challenger is Gene Paul Brennan.

District 7 Legislator John Peck is being primaried by Champion Town Council member, Matthew Gump.

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