Broadwell reportedly tapped to fill legislature vacancy

by Carol Thompson

Oswego businessman Shane Broadwell has been tapped to fill the vacancy in the District 17 seat of the Oswego County Legislature that occurred upon the death of Legislator Mary Flett, according to sources close to the Republican Party.

Broadwell’s name has circulated for several days, however, Oswego County Republican Chairman Michael Backus would only state, “We are working with the local committees to put forward a candidate who is invested in the city and county of Oswego. I look forward to welcoming this person to our legislative caucus and the entire legislature as soon as possible.”

The Democrat caucus intents to submit a name as well. “Why wouldn’t we?” Oswego County Democrat Chairman Mike Kunzwiler asked. “They (Republicans) changed the rules.”

Kunzwiler was referring to the appointment of Flett, a Republican, who replaced her brother in the legislature several years ago. Flett’s brother, Len Ponzi, was a longtime Democrat legislator.

Controversy erupted over Flett’s appointment as legislators broke away from the tradition of appointing a person of the same party when a seat becomes vacated.

The Republicans claimed it was Ponzi’s dying wish to have his sister appointed. The appointment resulted in a shouting match between Legislator Doug Malone and Sheriff Reuel “Moe” Todd.

Kunzwiler said while he does not expect the Republican majority will vote for a Democrat to fill the vacancy, he did state the Republican leadership should take into account any potential conflicts prior to nominating Broadwell.

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