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Naumburg businessman, farmer plans fourth run at Lewis Legislature

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NAUMBURG — A businessman and semiretired farmer here is eyeing a fourth run for the District 4 seat on the Lewis County Legislature.

“I think that if we get new ideas coming in, it certainly isn’t going to hurt the county at all,” Republican Thomas J. Schantz said.

Mr. Schantz, who this fall again plans to seek the seat held by 12-year Legislator John O. Boyd, D-New Bremen, said he believes some changes are in order for the 10-member Legislature, given that the makeup has been unchanged for several years.

“I just think everybody should have a challenger to them, whether you are a Republican or a Democrat,” he said.

Mr. Schantz, who runs a television shop from his Van Amber Road residence and helps son Andrew operate the family farm, was defeated in both the 2009 and 2011 elections by Mr. Boyd, a retired U.S. Postal Service worker.

Mr. Boyd in November 2001 defeated Mr. Schantz and independent candidate Jacquelyn M. Powlin to earn his first two-year term, then ran unopposed in the next three elections.

Although Mr. Boyd’s victories have been fairly lopsided, Mr. Schantz has increased his vote totals in each successive election, dropping the 2011 race 494-333.

The New Bremen legislator has considered retiring from the board in past years, but said he hasn’t yet decided whether he will run for a seventh term in District 4, which will encompass the town of New Bremen.

Mr. Schantz previously operated a restaurant in Castorland and a convenience store in Beaver Falls. He continues to suggest that county property taxes should be able to be paid in quarterly installments, noting his son in Syracuse could even sign up for a monthly payment plan.

“That’s not a hard job to do,” Mr. Schantz said. “Those computers will do all the work.”

While acknowledging that he doesn’t know all the details, Mr. Schantz said he is wary of the county plan to build a new office building on outer Stowe Street that effectively would eliminate leased space.

“I’m not sold on this new building,” he said. “I don’t think we can afford it.”

He also touted all-terrain-vehicle trail development, suggested that Lewis County General Hospital should remain county-owned and expressed disgust with state mandates.

“It’s just unreal, some of the stuff they come out with,” he said.

Mr. Schantz is a longtime board member of the Northern New York Farmers Marketing Co-op Inc. and a member of the Lowville Elks Lodge and Castorland Fire Department.

He and his wife, Cathy, have two sons, two granddaughters and a grandson.

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