LOWVILLE — Throughout the towns of Lewis County, candidates involved in the 18 competitive races are campaigning and reaching out to their community members seeking votes.

Following is a list of candidates in competitive municipal races in the county. Candidates with an asterisk after their party could not be reached for an interview.


COUNCIL: Vote for two

John G. Jones, 72, Republican

Address: Beaver Falls

Experience: Incumbent, 4 years; Past town supervisor, 2 years

Education: Augustinian Academy High School grad

Work History: Retired; Verizon lineman, 32 years

“I have experience and I would go to meetings so I figured I could give back to the community. Now, we’ve done a lot last year, stayed under the 2% tax cap, and are getting the town going. I would like to continue that.”

Derek M. Gage, 28, Democrat

Address: State Route A 12

Experience: Appointed councilman, 1 year

Education: Beaver River High School grad; Electrician trade school, 5 years

Work History: Union electrician; Dairy farmer

“I learned a lot in the year I was on the board. Being younger and in construction, I have a different perspective. I’m all for learning and trying to help the board and the people of the community.”

Thomas Kalamas, 61, Democrat

Address: Swiss Road

Experience: First time running

Education: Beaver River High School grad; Industrial wiring certification, Kraft

Work History: Retired, Kraft Foods, continuous improvement engineer in dairy, 35 years; Part time consultant

“I think I can help the town with different projects and the save the taxpayers money. I handled big projects at Kraft as a supervisor and I want to leverage my experience to help and give back to the community.”


Chelsea Lehman Cowan, 43, Republican

Address: Swiss Road

Experience: Incumbent clerk, 4 years and tax collector, 3 years

Education: Beaver River High School grad

Work History:

“I enjoy being involved with the town people and the board. There’s a lot involved in the job but it’s a nice office to hold. I try to make myself available to people beyond office hours, even on social media.”

Megan Kalamas Simpson, 39, Democrat, Independent

Address: Beaver Falls

Experience: Deputy clerk/collector, 3 years; Notary public

Education: Beaver River High School grad; JCC Associates – Social Sciences

Work History: Banking, 14 years

“I want to do the best I can for the town of Croghan and this is the perfect opportunity for my family and I. I want to get back to work full time.”


COUNCIL: Vote for two

Ricky L. Taylor, 64, Democrat

Address: Harrisville

Experience: Incumbent; Town Council, 20 years

Education: High School: Clifton Fine High School grad; welding school; diesel service technician training

Work History: current - Nortrax, Gourvernuer

“We’ve got a good council that works well together and the last couple of years, we’ve worked through a lot of projects and have more to accomplish.”

Raymond Gregory, 69, Republican

Address: Harrisville

Experience: Incumbent

Kelly Ritz, 62, Republican

Address: Harrisville

Experience: First time running; Initiated study for Harrisville dissolution

Education: Mainland High School, Daytona Beach, Fla.

Work History: Pharmacy tech, 20 years

“I want to be a voice for people on the issues they might want in the community.”


Janet Taylor, 60, Republican

Address: Harrisville

Experience: Incumbent, 20 years; Deputy clerk 3 years; Village of Harrisville clerk 9 years

Education: Clifton-Fine High School graduate; Notary public; Various municipal courses

Work History: Clerk/tax collector; Substitute teacher, 22 years; Art instructor

“I bring experience, integrity and honesty to my work and I am very involved in the community. I like being able to help people and make the town a better place to live.”

Tori Mashaw, 56, Democrat

Address: Jerden Falls Road

Experience: CSEA 825 union steward and vice president

Work History: Retired senior account clerk, Department of Social Services, 31 years; Lewis County Mental Health Center, 20 years

Approached by residents interested in change to run, Ms. Mashaw said, “I will offer extended office hours to better serve the public and be customer oriented. I look forward to serving the residents.”


JUSTICE: Vote for one

Mark D. Hogan, 62, Sunshine Party *

Work History: Semi-retired; consultant

Address: Hiawatha Lake, Glenfield

“I am representing the people of Greig, my intent is to make available to them every protection under their law and to hear cases in a clear, concise and impartial fashion, in which local concerns are taken into account.”

Mandy Evans, 40, Write-in candidate

Address: Brantingham

Education: South Lewis High School grad

Work History: Community Bank, Lyons Falls, retail service officer, 19 years

“I felt like our town needed an other option and I feel it’s a great way to give back to our community. I’m dedicated and look to excel in anything I do and anytime I’m put to the task, I definitely succeed. I hope our community will do the research and see that I’m the best person for the job.”

COUNCIL: Vote for one

Donald F. Mallette, 63, DFM 4 People Party

Address: Brantingham

Experience: Incumbent, 6 years; Former zoning board member

Education: Carthage High School grad; Paul Smith’s College, 2 years

Work History: Retired, Lewis County Code Enforcement

“I participate and try to pay attention and offer opinions and ask questions whether or not it makes people feel uncomfortable. That’s our job. When people ask questions I try to give them answers or tell them I’ll find out. I’m not telling them anything just to tell them something.”

David VandeWater, 51, Deer Party

Address: Hiawatha Lake, Glenfield

Experience: Planning board, 9 years; Codes officer, briefly, left to run for trustee

Education: Queensbury High School grad; SUNY Cobleskill, B.S.

Work History: Vandewater & Associates, 27 years

Why you? “I’m excited to bring my experience planning and some new ideas to the board to make minor changes to the laws and to help cope with tax increases in our town.”


Michael Alfano, 43, New Beginnings – Highway Supt

Address: Brantingham

Experience: Deputy superintendent, 6 years

Education: South Lewis High School grad; BOCES automechanic

Work History: Greig Highway Department, truck driver/mechanic, 18 years

“I want some change. I’ve got enough experience now I should know what I’m doing. I want to be a working supervisor. I want to be in there helping, not just watching the guys do the work.”

Kenneth Kirkbride, 62, Republican *

Address: Lyons Falls


COUNCIL: Vote for two

Anthony Nelleback, Jr. Republican *

Address: West Leyden

Experience: Incumbent

Cindy E. Youngs, 66, Democrat *

Address: West Leyden

Experience: Incumbent

Daniel J. Cihocki, 54, Republican *

Address: West Leyden

CLERK: Vote for one

Heidi Gerard Republican

NOTE: While Ms. Gerard, incumbent clerk, is on the ballot, she asks no one vote for her since she was hired by the U.S. Postal Service and can’t hold an elected position.

Olivia M. Fruin, 44, Unity Party

Address: West Leyden

Experience: First time running for office; running a private business; bookkeeping

Education: Donna High School Grad, Donna, Tex.; Cosmetology certification, Phillips Hairstyling Institute, Syracuse

Work History: Hair salon owner, town of Lee, 6 years

“I want to get started in politics because I’m not agreeing with how things are going. As clerk, I have the availability to meet the time requirements. I’ll be there when people need me to help and listen to their needs.”

Kolene Ettinger, 31, Fresh Egg Party

Address: West Leyden

Experience: First time running for office; customer service, 13 years

Education: Westmoreland High School Grad

Work History: Target, part-time; BNY Mellon, Oriskany, 7 years

“I’ve been a stay at home mom and I want to be more involved in the community.”

TAX COLLECTOR: Vote for one

Christina Stinebrickner, 61, Democrat

Address: West Leyden

Experience: Incumbent, 16 years

Education: Adirondack High School grand; Mohawk Valley Community College, registered nurse

Work History: Retired; Lewis County General Hospital Emergency Room, 3 years

“I enjoy the people when they come. The job has its challenges but I’m looking forward to the new challenge of the payment plan that is coming up next year.”

Tracy Yanik, 46, Republican *

Address: West Leyden


COUNCIL: Vote for two

Lois Compo Republican

Address: Johnston Dam Road

Experience: Incumbent; Village of Port Leyden board; Town hall restoration

Education: Rome Free Academy grad; some college

Work History: Hydro-electric facility, 10 years; Ethan Allen Furniture, Booonville

“I would like to see the town grow and at the same time, protect the agricultural land.”

Lee Anne Greene, 63, Independence Party

Address: State Route 12D

Experience: Appointed incumbent, 8 months

Education: Hackensack High School, N.J. grad

Work History: Horse farmer, 20 years here, 40 years in Rockland County

“I enjoy the meetings, like the low maintenance service road meeting recently, and working with people. Being involved is very interesting. I enjoy being an active part of the community.”

Fred Fox, 54, Republican

Address: Talcottville

Experience: Town Assessor’s Board of Review; Town Planning Board; Reach Across America; Talcottville Cemetery volunteer

Education: South Lewis High School Graduate

Work: Adirondack Home Furnishings, Utica – 23 years; Fox Den Monuments part time

“I think the town belongs to the people, not the board. I want to contribute to the town and give back.”


COUNCIL: Vote for two

Ruth Laribee, 84, Republican

Address: East Road

Experience: Incumbent

Steven Fuller, 49, Democrat

Address: Sunset Drive

Experience: Lewis County General Hospital Board, 3 years

Education: Lowville Free Academy grad

Work History: Lowville Central Schools, food service director, 3 years; Private business, 20 years

“I feel it’s the responsibility of people in the community to step up and get involved and that’s what I’m trying to do. People in the community supported me with my restaurant in the past so this is my way to give back.”

John “JD” Ross, Republican *

Address: Ross Road


COUNCIL: Vote for two

William (Bill) Roberts, 53, Democrat

Address: Moose River Road

Experience: Appointed incumbent, 1 year; VFW Boonville, Commander, 7 years

Education: Louisiana State University, B.A.; Northwestern University, B.S. – general studies, military science

Work History: Retired Army major, , 28 years; Disabled combat vetran

“It’s been interesting so far, with the projects like the town barn and the bridge project, it’s been quite an adventure. There are so many things we can do if people would get involved so I set up a Facebook page for the town to keep people in the loop.”

Brian Ouellette, 71, Democrat *

Address: Port Leyden

Experience: Incumbent

Kathleen M. O’Brien-Carreon, 41, Republican *

Address: Port Leyden

Experience: Incumbent

Nancy O’Brien-Dailey, 58, Republican *

Address: Port Leyden


COUNCIL: Vote for two

Douglas Dietrich, Wind Power Party

Address: Glenfield

Experience: Incumbent, 23 years; Deputy supervisor; Glenfield Elementary Revitalization Committee; Tug Hill Council, Vice Chairperson

Education: Ithaca College, B.S., M.S.

Work History: Retired South Lewis Central School District teacher

“I enjoy working in government and helping out people in town and looking out for their best interest.”

Janusz “John” Karelus, 72, Republican *

Address: B. Arthur Road

Experience: Incumbent

Kyle Smithling, 22, Farmers for Us Party

Address: Martinsburg

Experience: None, but “researching things” to make sure he understands the job

Education: South Lewis High School Grad; JCC, Associates – Agriculture Business

Work History: Family farm

“I want to learn what’s going on in our town and get more involved. When people want someone to listen, if enough isn’t being done and they feel like nobody is hearing them, I’ll be there for them and try to do something about it.”

Darren “Bump” Jantzi, 59, Republican *

Address: Whitaker Road


COUNCIL: Vote for two

Casandra Buell, 30, United Party

Address: Mattis Road

Experience: Incumbent, 2 years

Education: Beaver River High School grad; SUNY Morrisville, B.B.; Clarkson University, M.B.A.

Work History: County Planning Department, senior planner, 2 ½ years

“I chose to run for reelection to continue the momentum we’ve had making this a family friendly community and to find a way to create the amenities I feel people deserve. I feel I’ve been a trustworthy steward for taxpayers and I’ll continue to look for alternative funding and be a voice for all people.”

Marcus Bush, 35, For the Town Party

Address: Artz Road

Experience: Incumbent

Education: Beaver River High School grad; SUNY Oswego

Work History: Beaver River Central, tech teacher, 13 years

“I like being involved and having a sense of what’s going on in town and making informed decisions about what’s best for the town.”

Randy Aucter, 58, Democrat, Our Choice Party

Address: Soft Maple Road

Experience: Union member; New Bremen Volunteer Fire Department, 25 years

Education: Beaver River High School Grad; BOCES autobody;

Work History: Neenah Paper, 34 years

“I want make sure there’s no wasteful spending and ask why this versus something else. I want to look at different options. Taxpayers deserve a voice and I want to be that voice for them.”

Alexis Lyndacker, 27, Republican

Address: New Bremen

Experience: Works with towns; tax relief for farmers

Education: Beaver River High School grad; SUNY Morrisville, B.S. Agriculture Business

Work History: Lewis County Soil and Water Department, 7 years

“I have a lot of deep affection for New Bremen and I want to help any way I can. I want my son to know how to work hard and love New Bremen as much as I do.”


Jonathan M. Bush Democrat *

Address: Matthis Road

Mark D. Lehman, 52, Write-in Republican

Address: Snell Road, Lowville

Experience: New Bremen Assessment review board; New Bremen Fire District Board, chairman

Education: Lowville High School grad

Work History: Dairy farmer, 29 years; Northern New York Farmers Market August 2019-present

Mr. Lehman said he offers integrity, honesty and a strong work ethic and that the difference between a leader and a boss is that the leader works along beside, while a boss drives.


JUSTICE: Vote for one

William E. Currier, 62, Republican, Wheels Turning Party *

Address: Camden

Experience: Incumbent

Cheryl Davis, 55, Time for a Change Party

Address: Kumrow Road

Experience: First time running for office

Education: Westmoreland High School

Work History: New York State employee, Syracuse, 26 years

“I think there should be fair rulings and maybe something to help teach, like community service, instead of just a fine, if that would be possible” to institute as justice.

CLERK: Vote for one

Virginia “Ginny” Churchill, Incumbent Republican

Declined interview

Alice M. Sterling Bear Party

Declined interview


COUNCIL: Vote for two

Jane Gillette , Republican, Conservative

Address: Turin (village)

Experience: Incumbent, 4 years; Deputy supervisor: 4 years; Past vice president, South Lewis Central School District Board

Education: St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, registered nurse program

Work History: Part time Lewis County General Hospital Certified Home Health Agency

“I feel strongly it’s important to use tax money wisely and to give back and serve the people of the community.”

Lydia Wojnowski, 61, Incumbent, Democratic Party

Address: East Main Street

Experience: Incumbent, 4 years

Education: South Lewis High School grad

Work History: Behavioral Health and Wellness, Administrative Assitant, 4 1/2 years

“I’m a community minded person and I believe you should give back what you can. Road work is the main issue we’ve been battling, but it’s an ongoing process. I hope people are happy with the work the board is doing.”

Brian M. Mooney, 32, Republican – Council *

Address: East Road

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