GOUVERNEUR — Amber L. Ormasen, D-Gouverneur, never pictured herself running for office, but through a life of community service and dedication to bringing people together, she chose to pursue a seat on the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators.
Mrs. Ormasen, 40, is running against Harry A. Smithers II for the District 5 seat on the county Board of Legislators.
Mrs. Ormasen, a Gouverneur native and long-time resident, said it was a culmination of little things that built up both in herself and the community around her that motivated her to run for the seat.
“Recently I had found myself a bit overwhelmed with the amount of division that I was seeing, primarily at the national level, but I had fear of seeing that trickling down to our local community, maybe in my own family and household,” Mrs. Ormasen said.
Mrs. Ormasen is a teacher at Gouverneur Central School District and actively serves in the union. She’s heavily involved with United Methodist Church, where she developed and leads her own fitness-based ministry. In these and other circles, she said she started picking up on some frustrations and anxiety, something she felt inclined to address.
“I’m known in my community as someone who is always offering support, encouragement and willing to take action and stand up,” Mrs. Ormasen said. “Typically, I guess when I see a need, I just go running. So when I was asked, it was the perfect time. I was ready.”
Mrs. Ormasen cited recent health guidelines that could make it difficult to keep schools open as a major concern of hers, but she also said she’s continuing to educate herself and keep tabs on child care, solar development and sales tax distribution. She said should she be elected, she would focus on making sure the towns in District 5 are in the loop and well represented while she continues to acclimate to the county board.
“My biggest role is going to be not just of course representing my town and my district in what their needs are and if they’re in favor of things, but seeing what the county’s perspective is,” Mrs. Ormasen said.