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Village trustee Mary Ann Ashley challenges mayor Dave Curry on Tuesday. Photos: David Sommerstein/Lisa Lazenby
Village trustee Mary Ann Ashley challenges mayor Dave Curry on Tuesday. Photos: David Sommerstein/Lisa Lazenby

Two Republicans face off for Canton mayor

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An odd numbered year means a sprinkling of local races on Election Day next Tuesday.
In St. Lawrence County, the race between Democratic incumbent district attorney Nicole Duvé and GOP challenger Mary Rain is grabbing the headlines. We'll have a profile of that race on Monday.

Ogdensburg has a five-way race for three city council seats. Gouverneur and Canton each have two village trustee seats up for grabs.

The village mayor of Canton is also up for election. Incumbent Republican Dave Curry is seeking a second term. Another Republican, Mary Ann Ashley, is running on the Democratic line to defeat him. David Sommerstein reports.

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Reported by

David Sommerstein
Reporter/ Producer

Lifelong Canton resident and 19 year village trustee Dave Curry admits he hasn’t campaigned much at all. He says as owner of Dave’s 2 bar on Main Street, people know where to find him.

I feel I know a lot about Canton. I know a lot of people, what they need and what they want.

What village residents want, Curry says, is low taxes, like this year’s zero property tax increase.

I think I’ve kept the budget where it’s supposed to be and we do not over spend.

Curry’s challenger, current village trustee Mary Ann Ashley also wants no tax increase. In addition, she wants to further cut the village budget and share more services with the town in order to pay down debt on the new fire hall more quickly.

We have a six million dollar budget on a four million dollar debt. I think that’s a clear imbalance and it’s the wrong way to be travelling.

Ashley has been a school counselor at St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES for 23 years. She lost to Curry in the Republican caucus. She sought the Democratic nod and got it, even though she’s still registered Republican.

For the majority of the voters to decide who is the best candidate for this position.

It’s a move that riles Curry, who thinks it should be outlawed.

Probably one of the most unfair laws you could do in the New York State voting process.

Like most North Country villages, bringing business downtown is a priority to both candidates. Curry says Canton has few empty storefronts, but too many are filled by insurance agents, attorneys, and surveyors, and not enough by apparel, hardware, and other retails stores.

I’d like to see more offices move to second floors and more retail to the first floors. But right now it’s hard to convince them.

Mary Ann Ashley says her priority is to redevelop the dilapidated Jubilee Plaza behind Main Street. She says she recently met with owner Gary Cohen in New York City over his stand-off with the village that’s lasted some 20 years.

We both want the same thing, as far as getting that property developed. How we get there is another situation. It’s about investing in the property.

Curry is skeptical.

Gary Cohen, he’s not cooperative at all.

Curry and Ashley agree this political debate shouldn’t happen every two years. Both want to see the village of Canton’s terms extended for mayor and trustees to four years.

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