I am writing to urge the residents of the Front Yard of America to support the re-election of Assemblyman Mark Walczyk this fall — not because Mark is a great politician but because he is not.

Politics and politicians in recent memory stir up mixed emotions among us. And let’s be honest, most of it is not positive. The word “politician” conjures images of individuals caring more about their own self-interest than in bettering the lives of their constituents.

In my various experiences with Mark, I have found the exact opposite to be true. Mark is a public servant and an advocate for all residents of our area, regardless of political party, affiliations or demographics.

Throughout his term, I have interacted with Mark and his staff on numerous occasions in my capacity as a 25-year volunteer fire service veteran and fire training instructor, chief operating officer for a research and education based nonprofit as well as an organizer for several community events. Mark has been personally engaged and involved at each turn, has asked both smart and hard questions and has been tenacious at helping find common sense solutions to many of the problems we have faced.

As an employer in St. Lawrence County, I can credit Mark and his office for being directly responsible in helping us maintain our north country operation and with it several high-paying technical jobs. He has been a tenacious supporter of first-responders and has been actively working to help alleviate some of the obstacles we face, particularly in the fire service, recruiting and retaining members. And with community events where state support was needed, Mark and his staff were instrumental in helping facilitate compromises that allowed us to turn events such as the FLW Costa Series Bass Tournament into the successes that they were.

He has consistently worked to make time for constituents regardless of how busy his schedule has been and has worked ridiculous hours to make sure he can be present in his district to ensure that we know he is engaged and diligent in his service to our area. President John Kennedy once said, “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

Mark Walczyk embodies that. Coupled with his background and experience in service to our country, state and district, Mark is the “right answer” that we need during these difficult times.

Patrick O’Brien

Massena

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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