Voters in Otsego County will be busy Sept. 23, as the county will have primary elections in 14 of 24 towns, according to Sheila Ross, the county's Republican elections commissioner.

"It's going to be a big year at the local level, a lot of interest in some offices," she said.

Democratic Elections Commissioner Hank Nicols concurred Monday afternoon.

"We have 17 primaries in 14 towns, and 13 primaries are Republican," he said. "We're seeing races for positions that traditionally don't have a lot of challenges. Superintendent of Highways is a popular position now. ... Next month we're going to have nine primaries for highway superintendent."

Among towns where the office is contested are Butternuts, Decatur, Edmeston, Laurens, Morris, New Lisbon, Pittsfield, Roseboom and Worcester.

Also unusual is a Republican primary for the Otsego County Board of Representatives, this one in District 7 between Raymond Holohan of Middlefield and Frank J. Proper of Roseboom.

If Roseboom town Councilman Proper wins the primary, he'll face Holohan on the Independence line and Democrat Beth S. Rosenthal of Roseboom in the general election.

If Holohan wins, he'll face Roseboom town Clerk Rosenthal in the Nov. 8 general election.

The District 7 seat, held by Rep. Floyd "Sam" Dubben Jr., who is retiring, represents Middlefield, Cherry Valley and Roseboom.

Several other board races are under way, according to a final candidates list provided by the BOE. Among these are:

"¢ A contest in District 2 (Butternuts, Morris, Pittsfield) between incumbent Republican James Powers and Democrat Teresa Winchester.

"¢ In District 5 (Milford, Hartwick and New Lisbon), Democrat Barbara Monroe faces independent Pauline Koren, who is running on the Republican, Independence and Conservative lines. The winner will succeed Rep. Stephen Fournier, R-Milford, who is retiring at the end of the year.

"¢ In District 8 (town of Otsego), incumbent Republican James Johnson, chairman of the county's Administration Committee, faces a challenge from Democrat John Kosmer.

"¢ In District 11, city of Oneonta, Republican Barbara Jass is running on the Republican, Independence and Conservative lines against Democrat Gary Koutnik. The winner will succeed the late Martha Stayton, D-Oneonta.

Voters also will select a district attorney and county clerk, but D.A. John Muehl and Clerk Kathleen Sinnott Gardner are unopposed in their bids for four-year terms. The candidates' list also notes three candidates, James L. Hurley of Oneonta, James C. Magee of Otego and Michael W. Fox Jr. of East Springfield, running for two county coroner jobs.

The list of candidates will likely grow this month because the nomination process is not over. Independent petitions may be filed with the BOE from Aug. 16 through Aug. 23.

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