Half of Lewis County legislators face primaries

Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 5:35 PM EDT
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LOWVILLE, New York (WWNY) - Primary season will be busy in Lewis County. The June election will see half of the current county lawmakers challenged by someone in their own party.

“I can’t remember, in my experience, this many contested primaries,” said Lewis County Republican Chair Michael Young after learning 5 legislative districts have two Republicans vying for a seat on the county board of legislators.

Young says some newcomers want to get more involved in local politics, giving residents a choice.

“They are going to be able to choose who they feel most comfortable with,” he said.

In District 3, which covers the town of Denmark and part of the town of Lowville, Patrick Mahar is challenging for the seat held by incumbent Jessica Moser.

Mahar says he decided to run because he feels the county isn’t spending all of its money in the right way.

He says an example is the 2.5 million dollar purchase of old rail tracks, which are set to be turned into outdoor recreation trails.

“When a majority of the people in my district don’t want it, I think it should be looked at a little more even though it has been purchased. I think the brakes could be on a little bit,” said Mahar.

Moser did vote in favor of the Rails to Trails project and says she did so because it could be developed in a variety of different ways.

“Depending on how you decide to develop it will really make the decision about whether or not it is helpful or hurtful to the county,” she said.

In the other Republican primaries, incumbent Lisa Virkler will be challenged by Thomas Kalamas in District 2.

Ian Gilbert will try to win his seat again in District 4 against Barry Lyndaker.

In District 5, Richard Chartrand will look to stay in his seat as he is opposed by Vincent Nortz.

Andrea Moroughan of District 6 will look to hold her seat, challenged by Steven Stogsdill.

Because some of these candidates are running on both the Republican and Conservative lines, a winner may not be decided until the general election in November. But we will have to wait for the results of the primary, which is set for June 27.