Feb 11, 2014 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
When he attended Liverpool High School is the early 1980s, John Lemondes excelled as a varsity wrestler. Now, after serving nearly 27 years in the U.S. Army, Lemondes wants to wrestle the New York 24th District congressional seat away from incumbent Dan Maffei.
Lemondes, 48, who lives with his wife and three children on a 400-acre farm in LaFayette, is one of eight candidates currently vying for the Republican nomination to run for the House of Representatives in November.
“I like making a difference,” Lemondes said last week in Liverpool. “That’s what I’m trying to do.”
On Wednesday, Feb. 5, Lemondes officially launched his campaign by formally announcing his candidacy at several venues across the district, which encompasses all of three counties and part of another.
Lemondes grew up in Jewel Manor off of Buckley Road in the town of Salina and graduated from Liverpool High School in 1983. Last Wednesday he made appearances at the Holiday Inn on Electronics Parkway and at Ascioti’s To Go, the new meat shop located at Ponderosa Plaza in the village.
After serving in the Army for 26 years and eight months, Lemondes recently retired at the rank of colonel. Lemondes was project manager of the Army’s Chemical Weapons Stockpile Elimination program, based at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. He helmed the industrial operations of four plants across the country, with several thousand employees and a budget of $1 billion.
“I’ve served my country,” Lemondes said, “and now I want to serve my community.”
If he’s elected to Congress, he said he’ll work to improve the economy and bring jobs to CNY, ensure integrity in government and maintain his constituents’ Second Amendment rights.
On Jan. 28, Lemondes was one of eight GOP hopefuls who appeared at a town of Salina Republican Committee meeting at American Legion Post 188 on South Cypress Street. The other candidates who spoke here were: Syracuse economist Janet Burman, former Syracuse Common Councilor Rick Guy, Syracuse businessman Ian Hunter, former Assistant U.S. Attorney John Katko, former Auburn school board member Jason Lesch and Randy Wolken, president of the Manufacturers Association of CNY.
Lemondes thinks he’ll earn the nomination “because I’m the most qualified. I have the greatest breadth and depth of experience. I have backgrounds in agriculture, business, industry, and of course the military. I’m the only candidate with senior executive leadership experience.”
During his Army career, he served within the Chemical Corps and Quartermaster Corps with deployment to Desert Shield/Desert Storm. He was appointed War Strategic Program director for the Department of the Army, and program manager, leading more than 120 acquisition, logistics and engineering professionals in order to support the Global War on Terrorism.
As for Maffei, Lemondes believes that the incumbent Democratic congressman is out of touch with Upstate voters. “Most of the people who live in this district and, in fact, most Americans want to go in a different direction,” Lemondes said.
A graduate of the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., Lemondes earned a master’s degree there in national resource strategy. He’s also an alumnus of Syracuse University, where he earned a business degree and a master’s in public administration. He previously earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Penn State University.
The 24th Congressional District includes all of Cayuga, Onondaga and Wayne counties and the western part of Oswego County. GOP candidates will begin passing petitions March 4.