Tag Archives: Oswego County Republican Committee

Controversy looms over county treasurer appointment

by Carol Thompson

How to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Oswego County Treasurer John Kruk may have to be settled by the court as the Republicans and Democrats are in disagreement.

Kruk resigned Feb. 27 and the position has been vacant since that time. The Republicans maintain that the position is to be filled by the Oswego County Legislature based on a local law.

Michael C. Backus, who serves as the county Republican chairman, believes this stance is correct.

“I have been advised that the Oswego County legislature has the ability to appoint,” Backus said Friday in a written response. “As chairman of the Oswego County Republican Committee I have called a meeting of the OCRC for (tomorrow) where I expect our over 200 members to vote to recommend one candidate to the legislature for appointment.

“In May, we’ll go through our formal endorsement process and vote for a candidate to run in the fall,” he added. “At the end of the day, regardless of any appointment, the people of Oswego County will elect their next treasurer in November.”

Oswego County Democrat Chairman Mike Kunzwiler disagrees.

“I believe this is an appointment to be made by the governor,” he said. “There is a court case to back this up. The Republicans are saying the legislature can appoint because of a local law, but I have been advised by legal counsel that local law cannot supersede state law.”

Kunzwiler said he has been in contact with the governor’s office and has submitted the resume of the county’s chief accountant Mark See.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

Jack Brandt slated to fill vacant legislator seat

by Andrew Henderson

Jack Brandt, an attorney who served as town justice in Schroeppel, has been tabbed by Republicans to fill the vacant District 12 seat on the Oswego County Legislature.

Brandt will replace veteran lawmaker Art Ospelt, who died Dec. 18.

Last week, the Oswego County Republican Committee, with consultation with the Schroeppel and Hastings town committees, recommended Brandt to the seat.

Brandt is an attorney with deep ties throughout the 12th District. He has most recently served as a town justice in Schroeppel.

“I am honored that the committee members selected me to fill this seat long held by Art Ospelt,” said Brandt.  “He was a true pillar of our community and a strong advocate for our area.  I look forward to working with the community to continue that strong tradition of public service.”

Schroeppel Republican Committee Chairman Carl Richardson said, “Jack is a passionate and committed member of our town and I think he’ll serve this community well on the legislature. As town Justice, Jack brought some new initiatives to the court and I know he’ll do the same in this new role.”

Oswego County Republican Committee Chairman Michael Backus added, “It is always my pleasure to work with the local town committees and in this case several committee members from two different towns. The committee members interviewed Mr. Brandt and voted to recommend him for appointment to the legislature.”

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397


Two Republicans seeking party’s nomination for clerk

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.