Canton Democrats endorse candidates for town positions

Top row, from left: Canton Town Supervisor Mary Ann Ashley, Town Clerk Karin S. Blackburn, Town Council candidate David K. Nelson. Bottom row: Martha Foley Smith and James T. Smith, both current councilors running this year. Provided screenshot

CANTON — The Canton Democratic Committee during its virtual March meeting officially endorsed candidates for town seats.

Members unanimously voted to endorse Town Supervisor Mary Ann Ashley, running for re-election; Town Clerk Karin S. Blackburn, appointed in December and running for the elected position; David K. Nelson and current Councilor James T. Smith, each running for a four-year term on Town Council; and Martha Foley Smith, running for a two-year unexpired Town Council term.

John S. Taillon, Robert T. Santamoor and Paul J. Baxter, all Republicans, have also announced they will vie for council seats.

The four-year terms of Mr. Smith and Councilor Timothy J. Danehy will expire Dec. 31, and the two-year unexpired term of former Councilor Mrs. Blackburn will appear on the November ballot. Mrs. Blackburn transitioned to the town clerk’s office in December by appointment after Clerk Lisa A. Hammond’s retirement, Ms. Foley Smith was then appointed to Mrs. Blackburn’s vacated seat through the end of 2021.

Councilor Robert J. Washo, whose term ends in 2023, completes the four-member council.

Former Deputy Town Clerk Heidi L. Smith is also running for the four-year clerk position.

Highway superintendent and a town justice position will be on the ballot. Current Town Justice Michael R. Morgan has announced his campaign for re-election.

The New York primary is June 22, and the general election is Nov. 2.

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What does it mean to be a Democrat (or a Republican for that matter) at the local level? Keynsian economics isn't on the table (everything below the federal level has to balance the budget). Foreign policy is irrelevant. Culture war stuff can apply. But the main distortion making national labels poor guides to local politics is that tax and spend at the national level is progressive (because it's based on progressive income taxes) whereas tax and spend at the local level is less so. One of the first indicators of worthiness for the Democrat label is approach to property taxes because property taxes tend to be regressive ( ).

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