New Primary Date Speeds Up Election CyclePosted: Updated:
St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells will not be seeking re-election and we know this now because the dates candidates seeking elective office have to collect signatures has moved up to April from July, which means people have to decide sooner whether or not they are running. Wells acknowledged this in his public statement Monday.
"Since the date's been moved up, you know, the crunch to get the signatures, for all the various reasons that they moved it, that causes all the people running for election to make their decisions that much sooner," said Wells.
State and federal primaries split in 2012 because of a judge's decision. This puts them back together. Jefferson County Democratic Elections Commissioner Babette Hall says that this will cut costs and perhaps increase turnout.
"I think a lot of voters were a little confused. They really weren't following it as much," said Hall.
Now both the state and federal primaries will be held on June 25, which the county's Republican Elections Commissioner Jude Seymour calls a welcome change.
"I think it's great. I think it's a very voter friendly initiative and I'm glad that they finally did it," said Seymour.
A lot of local elections are affected by this change.
For instance, Watertown Mayor Joe Butler's seat is up, as are two Watertown city council seats.
Meanwhile in Lewis County, the district attorney's seat is up, as is the sheriff, clerk and treasurer.
In St. Lawrence County, the sheriff and county clerk seats are up as well.