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Paul Maroun, mayor-elect in Tupper Lake, joins host of new faces (Source:  Maroun campaign)
Paul Maroun, mayor-elect in Tupper Lake, joins host of new faces (Source: Maroun campaign)

Voters shake up local leadership, incumbents ousted or vulnerable from Ogdensburg to Lake George

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The city of Watertown returned incumbent mayor Jeff Graham for another term last night.

And in Ogdensburg the race is still too close to call with city Mayor Bill Nelson, a Republican, holding on to a nine-vote lead over challenger Jack McGrath, an independent.

But in much of the North Country, voters ushered in big changes in local leadership yesterday.

In Potsdam, Clarkson professor Steven Yurgartis will take the helm as mayor after defeating Republican Sharon Hutchinson by a wide margin.

From Malone to Lake George, more than a dozen incumbents were either defeated or chose not to seek re-election. Brian Mann has our story.

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Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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This is a time when tiny local governments are making really big decisions that affect people’s lives – everything from property tax hikes to cuts to nursing homes to the future of the Adirondack Club and Resort project. 

Voters in Franklin County yesterday ushered in new leadership for the village of Tupper Lake, where veteran politico Paul Maroun, a Republican, pledged to throw full support behind the proposed Big Tupper resort after incumbent Mickey Desmarais stepped out of the race. 

The village of Malone also has a new mayor with Democrat Todd LePine beating Republican Sam Brody.

It appears that incumbents were also ushered out in the Franklin County towns of Burke and in Brighton, where supervisor John Quenell trails by about fifteen votes.

In Essex County, four new town supervisors were chosen yesterday, as incumbents Bethany Kosmider in Crown Point and Noel Merrihew in Elizabethtown were ousted by voters. 

Two other supervisors in North Hudson and Schroon were elected to fill empty seats — though in North Hudson the race is still too close to call.

In the Warren County town of Lake George, meanwhile, challenger Dennis Dickinson toppled incumbent supervisor Frank McCoy as that town’s board saw a sweep of victories by a new organization called the Lake George Citizens Group.

Also in Warren County, Ronald Vanselow won the Johnsburg town supervisor race, to fill the seat vacated by the retirement of Sterling Goodspeed.

The town of Hague will also see new leadership because of a retirement.

Republicans and Democrats both claimed significant victories last night. Democrat Sharon Boisen holding onto her seat in a tough race in the town of Essex; democrats also made gains in the Clinton County legislature.

Republicans fared well in village races in Tupper Lake and Republican candidates are also leading in the regional contest to fill empty seats in the Fourth Judicial District of the Supreme Court.

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