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Estranged spouses vie for Fowler assessor seat

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HAILESBORO — One thing is certain: a Geer will be the Republican candidate for Fowler assessor.

Incumbent Timothy J. Geer is being challenged by his wife, Sherry L. Geer, from whom he is separated. The pair will face off at the polls in a Republican primary Sept. 10.

“We both are running,” Ms. Geer said. “I don’t know if he knows.”

Mr. Geer did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Ms. Geer said she started thinking about the job after her husband moved out of the town.

“He left the home last October and is living in Gouverneur,” she said.

Ms. Geer believes her husband living in a different town disqualifies him from holding public office in Fowler, but she missed a deadline to challenge his nominating petitions.

“To me, residence is where you lay your head down at night,” she said.

For voter registration, the Board of Elections may consider a number of factors, such as if the residence is used for income tax purposes, along with personal and real property owned by the applicant.

“There’s a whole list,” St. Lawrence County Republican Election Commissioner Thomas A. Nichols said. “He’s on the ballot unless his residency is challenged.”

If that happens, Mr. Nichols said he and Democratic Election Commissioner Jennie H. Bacon would review the situation.

Ms. Geer decided to run for the job because she needed the income and did not want to have to work a second job two days a week at Walmart any longer.

She said she is as qualified for the job as her husband when he first ran one term ago.

“He didn’t have any training. I figured I’m fully capable,” she said. “This is a way for me to carry on. I’m just looking at taking care of me, and this was an open spot.”

Ms. Geer, an employee of the St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services, said she encouraged her husband, who is a self-employed carpenter, to run four years ago.

“I’m the one that got the petition for him,” she said. “I was the first signature on it.”

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