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Incumbent supervisor, highway chiefs fall to write-in challenges

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LOWVILLE — Write-in campaigns in the neighboring Tug Hill towns of Montague and Pinckney have apparently unseated a supervisor and two highway superintendents.

Scott P. Shattuck, a registered Republican, received 26 write-ins for Montague supervisor, while Republican incumbent Wendy Robbins-Perry had 13 votes in Tuesday’s general election. Fellow Republican Clifford A. Young got 28 write-in votes for highway superintendent, beating GOP incumbent Adrian F. Perry, who had 12.

In Pinckney, Republican Town Councilman Donald M. Cook received 70 write-in votes for highway superintendent to outpoll GOP incumbent Carl Groff Jr., who got 29 votes. Mr. Cook won election to the Council after being appointed earlier this year. He said he will give up that job to become highway superintendent.

The unofficial results were released Friday.

“It was a very well-organized write-in,” said Lewis County’s Democratic Election Commissioner Lindsay I. Burriss.

Mr. Cook, who retired in 2010 as vice president of Dutchess Lumber in Cortland, said several residents encouraged him to run for the post, and he decided a week or two before the election to do so in hopes of addressing “some issues” in the department.

“I really wanted the people of Pinckney to have a choice,” he said.

Mr. Cook, who is entering his third winter as a full-time Barnes Corners resident after owning property in the area for a few decades, said he sent out a letter to the town’s registered voters informing them of his decision to wage a write-in campaign, and Mr. Groff also sent out a letter.

Mr. Cook said he was happy with the voter turnout, as more than half of the town’s 210 registered voters cast ballots.

“That’s pretty significant for a little, rural town,” he said.

Election officials said that successful write-in campaigns have been rare in Lewis County, although Ann M. Nortz, Republican election commissioner, recalled an instance in 1997 when the Greig highway superintendent earned re-election via write-in after failing to gain his party’s support at a caucus.

The commissioners noted that all the Montague write-in votes were written as “Scott A. Shattuck” and “Clifford A. Young,” even though Mr. Young — whose wife, Juanita L., ran unopposed for re-election to a Town Council seat — is more commonly known as Tony.

And, the 70 votes for Mr. Cook were written as either “Donald Cook” or “Don Cook,” although one additional vote for “D. Cook” was disallowed because his wife’s name also starts with that letter, officials said.

“When you look at the ballots, they were perfect,” Mrs. Nortz said.

Mr. Shattuck ran for Montague supervisor in 2009 as an independent candidate but was defeated by then-Democratic incumbent Jan Bogdanowicz, 24-13.

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