by Carol Thompson
The Oswego County Republican Committee will meet next week to select a candidate to be on the ballot in November for the position of county clerk.
Oswego County Republican Committee Chairman Michael C. Backus and Oswego County Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley are both seeking the nomination.
The position will be on the ballot due to the death of George Williams, who had served for three decades.
The day after his funeral, several committee members said they received a letter signed by Williams’ wife, Norma Williams, seeking support for Beardsley. “Sadly we have come to the end of an era and the office of County Clerk is vacant,” the letter states.
“Fred has the campaign experience and the county wide name recognition to win the election. Fred has the integrity to run the County Clerk’s office. To me the choice is clear.”
The letter continues, “I am supporting Fred for County Clerk. It is not just what I want, I know it is what George would want.”
The letter concludes, “Please do the right thing for the office of County Clerk, the people of Oswego County and the Republican Party cast your vote for Fred Beardsley (sic).”
The Democrats will also have a candidate. As of press time, they have not made an announcement as to whom will be on the ballot.
Due to the timing of the vacancy, the position will be on the November ballot, however, each major party committee selects a candidate due to the lack of time for petitioning.
The office has been shrouded in controversy in recent years
Oswego County Democrat Chairman Mike Kunzwiler said that should his party candidate win the office, a complete audit of the clerk’s office will be the first order of business.
Backus said he will do an evaluation and make a decision once all the aspects of the county clerk’s office have been reviewed.