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Saranac Lake Republicans choose candidates

One incumbent in, one incumbent out

Mark Gillis makes a speech during the Jan. 31 Saranac Lake Republican Party caucus in the village offices at the Harrietstown Town Hall. He and incumbent Jeff Branch won nods to run for two open trustee seats in the March 20 election.

Mark Gillis makes a speech during the Jan. 31 Saranac Lake Republican Party caucus in the village offices at the Harrietstown Town Hall. He and incumbent Jeff Branch won nods to run for two open trustee seats in the March 20 election. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— Republicans, and later Conservatives, asked Gillis why he chose Saranac Lake to relocate and possibly live the rest of his life.

“The first night I had to go up and get some wood when it was 25 below, I asked myself that same question. Why the heck am I here?” Gillis said. “I was trying to replicate and duplicate the small town I grew up in Massachusetts, and I think I found that in Saranac Lake.”

Saranac Lake Conservative Party members also chose Branch and Gillis to represent them for the two open four-year seats on the Village Board during their caucus, which was held in the same location after the Republican caucus Jan. 31.

Branch and Gillis will face off against Democrats Paul Van Cott and Barbara Rice, who earned their party nods during the Jan. 30 caucus. The winners will join trustees Tom Catillaz (D) and Pelletieri (C) at the board table with Mayor Clyde Rabideau (D).

Judge Ken McLaughlin will run unopposed on the Republican and Conservative tickets. During their caucus, Democrats crossed party lines to endorse McLaughlin, who will be filling Tom Glover's two-year unexpired term. In an effort to consolidate the justice system, the village will be abolishing McLaughlin's seat in April and Glover's seat in 2014, when the towns of Harrietstown, North Elba and St. Armand – all inside the village limits – take over the judicial duties. McLaughlin is also a judge for the town of Harrietstown.

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