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Canton high school senior enters legislature race

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We're in the time of year when political hopefuls come out of the woodwork to announce their candidacies. 2010 will be an especially active year in the North Country, with offices in Washington, Albany, and many county seats open or vulnerable. In St. Lawrence County, all 15 legislative seats are up for re-election. You'll hear more about the candidates and the issues in the coming weeks and months. But we were interested in a Canton High School senior who announced his candidacy this week, for a county legislature seat being vacated by Tedra Cobb. Our news intern, Chelsea Ross, went to the press conference.

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My first reaction as I walked down court st in Canton was one of surprise. I was 15 minutes early, and already there were about 20 people, many of them high schoolers wearing Canton Bears jackets, standing around in the freezing rain, waiting for legislative candidate Matthew Flynn to give a speech.

People seem to be interested in Flynn's age, and rightly so. At 18 years old, he is decades younger than other prospective candidates. Said News10Now reporter Sarah Hagen

The only reason I'm here is because its an interesting story because he's so young.

Flynn's stepmother, Amy Flynn, thinks that his age is a positive.

I really think that Matthew's youth and enthusiasm are going to be one of his greatest assets in this race, he's so motivated he's always had an interest in politics.

The rest of his family was there to support him, including his father, who introduced Flynn to the crowd that had now grown to about 40 people.

Without any further delay I'd like to introduce my son who I'm very proud of, named Matthew Flynn.

I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for the St Lawrence county legislature district 8. I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness - a certain audacity - to this announcement. I know there are concerns that I have not spent a lot of time in government. But I've lived here long enough to know that we need a change in out county.

Flynn is a young looking 18 with a boyish grin. He became interested in politics at an early age by watching Fox news with his grandfather. His views are those of the typical conservative republican - cut spending and lower taxes. And he says being young will help him to bring a different perspective to the county legislature.

I see the county govt and I see some of the services differently than some of the other legislators do because of my age, I know that there are some programs, specifically some of the youth programs and I've seen some of the benefits of them and ive seen some of the flaws of them that some of the older individuals wouldn't see.

Do you view this campaign more as a learning experience or do you really want to win?

I guess.. I'm in this to win it.

It'll be a tough campaign. Flynn will run against a well-known dairy farmer Kevin Acres in the republican primary. Democrat Tony Cooper is also considering running for the legislative seat.

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