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Democrat endorsements heat up Marcellus elections

The Marcellus Democrat Committee's caucus last month resulted in a relatively rare full slate of candidates for the November 2009 town elections.

In addition to cross-endorsing incumbents Karen Pollard for town clerk and Elaine Potter for tax collector, the Democrats will contest the two town board seats, supervisor and highway superintendent posts with their own candidates.

Bill Burnett and Kevin O'Hara will run for the incumbents Bernie Montgomery and Tom Lathrop's council seats.

For Burnett, 68, the 2009 race will be his third attempt at the town board position. Burnett said he has run before as both Republican and Democrat, and has chosen to run on the Democrat line again this year.

"Things are getting out of hand," Burnett said of the current political climate. Burnett said he would bring his own ideas to the board and his priority supporting the people and the fire department.

For O'Hara, 47, the November race will be his first shot at public office. A relative newcomer to the town - he moved to Marcellus three years ago - O'Hara said he decided to run for council after attending town board meetings.

"I think more could be done, I really do," O'Hara said. "I think it needs a new voice, a fresh start. I really do think it needs a change."

Chris Howlett feels a change would also do the highway department good, and will challenge Don MacLachlan for the highway superintendent post.

Howlett, 27, currently works in landscaping and excavating and said his family's involvement in highway work has provided him experience and knowledge.

"I just would like to do everything by the book," Howlett said.

Though the Dems have endorsed Nancy Bunn for the supervisor position, Bunn said last week she has not yet decided whether she will run for the top spot.

Incumbent Supervisor Dan Ross, Councilor Tom Lathrop, and Highway Superintendent Don MacLachlan, as well as first-time town board candidate Kathy Carroll, are all running as Republicans.

Endorsed to run in November on the Democratic ticket:

Nancy Bunn for town supervisor

Kevin O'Hara for town councilor

Bill Burnett for town councilor

Chris Howlett for highway superintendent

Karen Pollard for town clerk (also endorsed by Republicans)

Elaine Potter for tax collector (also endorsed by Republicans)

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