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APA attorney Paul Van Cott won a trustee seat in Saranac Lake (Photo:  Van Cott campaign)
APA attorney Paul Van Cott won a trustee seat in Saranac Lake (Photo: Van Cott campaign)

Democrats claim trustee seats in Saranac Lake

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Voters swept two more Democrats onto the Saranac Lake Village Board of Trustees Tuesday. Local business owner Barbara Rice and Adirondack Park Agency attorney Paul Van Cott won by a wide margin over incumbent Jeff Branch and his fellow Republican, Mark Gillis.

(Special thanks to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise for help with this story. You can read more about yesterday's village election at the Adirondack Daily Enterprise's website, or in this afternoon's edition of the newspaper.)

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Reported by

Chris Knight
Adirondack Correspondent

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Democrats erupted in cheers inside the Harrietstown Town Hall just after 9 p.m. Tuesday night when the election results were announced

It was a runaway victory for Barbara Rice and Paul Van Cott, who had campaigned on a platform of bringing jobs to the community and reducing taxes, "I’m overwhelmed," Rice said. "I don't know what to say. Both Paul and I worked extraordinarily hard; I think that was a big part of it." Van Cott said, "I hope that what resonated with the voters is that we are one Saranac Lake, and that if we work together we can do all the best things for the village."

Incumbent Jeff Branch said he wasn’t surprised by his loss, although he thought the numbers would be closer, "This election more than any other I was more nervous about the outcome," he said. "I can't explain why; it's just the way it was."

A trustee for seven years, Branch said this was his last village election campaign. He said he may run for other political office in the future.

Rice and Van Cott will join two other Democrats on the five-person Saranac Lake village board, Mayor Clyde Rabideau and Trustee Tom Catillaz, as well as Conservative Party member Allie Pelletieri.

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