Last week a post described how silent the activity from any potential candidates was in the 118th Assembly district. That all changed later in the week.
Jefferson County Legislator Phil Reed is out and St. Lawrence County Clerk Patty Ritchie is still considering her options.
The Jefferson County side of the equation may not remain quiet. The word has been circulating for a while that former Supervisor Bob Cantwell's son maybe interested, but without any name recognition (obvious from this post), it will be a difficult and expensive feat to get elected. At this point, Ritchie remains the candidate with the highest name ID and therefore best possible shot at winning the election.
The Democratic side, there is a little or no roar from or for Greg Pacquin and the indication that county-wide elected Jefferson County Sheriff John Burns' name has seemed to reemerge as a possible candidate is a sign the Democrats may have done some polling.
Let's take a look at the potentials.
Ritchie is an aggressive campaigner, who is affable and charming; she is also very successful at fulfilling her objectives as county clerk and instituting initiatives that have resulted in vast gains of revenue for the department and service to St. Lawrence County residents. She can be mild tempered but very aggressive when necessary. Her performance as County Clerk demonstrates her ability to drill down into issues and figure them out, something necessary of an Assembly person.
Burns is quite a contrast to Ritchie. He has been successful at the law enforcement side of the Sheriff's department leaving little doubt he is a good cop. But, Burns has a natural affinity for spending money that is clearly evident in the Sheriff's department, where it is easy to spend taxpayer's money without any accountability for raising taxes. This lack of fiscal discipline is also evident in past business ventures that were plagued by problems as a result. In sharp contrast to Ritchie's demeanor, Burns is also known to have a hot tempered form of manner. Burns is well versed in law enforcement issues, but depth of knowledge in other areas important to taxpayers of this district will be a concern.
These fiscal situations are fair for the voters to consider as to how an Assembly person would manage taxpayer's money. If this match up comes to be, then residents in the 118th can expect some sharp contrasts between the two candidates.
The next Assembly person should be elected on the ability to do the job, the Democrats, following the lead of Hillary Clinton, have a hard time restraining themselves from negative campaigning and Assemblyman Ron Canastrari has already begun the mud slinging.