Nov. 5 is election day, and early voting days continue through Sunday, Nov. 3 in the Yates County Office Building.
The ballot includes several county-wide and town offices in Yates County.
Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike and Yates County Clerk Lois Hall — both Republicans — are running unopposed in their bids for re-election to 4-year terms.
Two individuals are seeking election to one Yates County coroner seat, and all 14 Yates County Legislature seats are up for election this year. There are contested races in District 1 (four seats representing Italy, Jerusalem, and Middlesex), District 2 (three seats representing Benton, Potter, and Torrey), and District 3 (four seats representing Milo). The three District 4 Legislators representing Starkey and Barrington, Bill Holgate, Jim Multer, and Bonnie Percy are all running unopposed.
There are also contested town races in Barrington, Benton, Italy, and Jerusalem.
All polling locations will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 5. Absentee ballot applications must be postmarked by Monday Nov. 4. Voters may apply in person at the Board of Elections Office, 417 Liberty St., Suite 1124, Penn Yan through 5 p.m. Nov. 4.
The Chronicle-Express has compiled basic information submitted by most of the candidates.
Yates County Coroner
Kathy McGrath (D), 62
• Occupation: Retired Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Home Care and Hospice RN/NP
• Resident of Yates County 12 years
• Seeking the office of Yates County Coroner because I am committed to becoming an integral part of this community and know I have expert qualifications. I have 38 years of proven clinical and management experience working with a multidisciplinary team to provide care for infants to seniors. I have a strong background in managing end of life care, ability to provide compassion for families at times of crisis, and excellent problem-solving skills.
Brian Champlin (write in candidate endorsed by Republican party), 57, incumbent
• Occupation: retired from Yates County Highway as a working supervisor; retired Critical Care Tech from Finger Lakes Health, Medic 55. Currently employed by Flint Creek Transport
• Yates County Coroner 2016 to present; President and Vice President of Penn Yan Area Volunteer Ambulance Corporation
• Resident of Yates County for 45+ years.
• I have many years of experience in the medical field as a Critical Care Tech and as a volunteer at PYAVAC. I am empathetic to my patients as well as sympathetic to the families I serve. I enjoy working with the public and at such a difficult time, I believe I am able to offer some comfort and assurances. I have held the position of Coroner for the past four years and believe I am well-qualified. I will work diligently and extensively to serve the community.
Legislature District 1
(Four seats representing Italy, Jerusalem, and Middlesex)
K. Dixon Zorovich (D), 49
• Occupation: Grant Writer
• Resident of District 1 five years
• Major issue: Our government should be a reflection of our community. We all deserve a voice in the decisions that affect our lives, and I believe a greater diversity of experience and skills will strengthen the ability of local government to address major issues. It is critical that we protect our lands and lakes by supporting cost-effective strategies for water quality improvements, green infrastructure projects that reduce rain and stormwater runoff, training for farmers and landowners through Yates County Cooperative Extension, and incentives for residents and businesses to become more energy efficient. This will strengthen both our tourism and agriculture industries — the economic engines of Yates County — while creating opportunities to sustainably diversify the local economy.
Edward A Bronson (R, C), incumbent
• Occupation: Retired after 21 years Penn Yan Middle School science teacher and 11 years Penn Yan School Administrator
• District 1 Legislator for 4 years
• Resident of District 1 for 23 years
• Major issue: To be fiscally responsible while meeting the mandates (funded and unfunded) coming from Albany. I will continue to be prepared for meetings, actively participate in meetings, and serve as Committee Chair if appointed by Legislature Chair.
Tim Cutler (R, C) , 69, incumbent
• Occupation – Retired Manager, Adjunct Instructor at Keuka College, Town of Jerusalem Planning Board Chair
• Yates County Legislator (current), Vice Chair Genesee Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council (current), Keuka Lake Association Board of Directors (current)
• Resident of District 1 seven years.
• Major issue: As a member of the Yates County Legislature (Government Operations, Public Safety and Finance Committees), I continue to be motivated to serve the community to preserve our Public Safety, ensure fiscal responsibility, maintain the character of our lakes and recreational resources, and enable the economic development of our county and region. It’s no one issue but many that move me.
Douglas Paddock (R, C), 64, incumbent
• Occupation: Retired in 2016 from ITT Corporation/Goulds Pumps, Inc. as Director, New Product Development after 40+ years of continuous employment.
• Currently Chairman of the Legislature that requires a significant time commitment; Commissioner, Branchport Fire District (1985 - 1987)
• Resident of District 1 64 years
• Major issue: Expanding broadband to un- and underserved areas and addressing the county’s aging public safety and highway facilities. The county needs to continue to pursue grant opportunities to build infrastructure and prepare plans for potential building updates.
Patrick Killen (R), 54
• Occupation: Substitute teacher, Keuka Lake State Park security
• Offices held: Jerusalem Town Supervisor (Jan. 2014 to present), Town of Jerusalem Councilman (Jan 2012 to Dec. 2013)
• Resident of Jerusalem 44 years
• Major issue: I was able to help find savings and efficiencies for Jerusalem on a sewage contract (6% reduction saving, more than $60,000 annually) water quality reporting ($1800 annually) a cable franchise contract ($1900 annually). I would like to try to find similar savings for county taxpayers.
Legislature District 2
(3 seats representing Benton, Potter, and Torrey)
Peggy Focarino (D), 64
• Occupation: retired federal executive
• Property owner in District 2 for 5 years
• Major issue: The current members of the legislature are not representative of the majority of Yates County residents. The fact is that over half of Yates Co. registered voters are not affiliated with the Republican party, yet all 14 Legislators are Republicans. The lack of diversity of party, gender and experience in our legislature needs to be addressed if we expect fair and balanced decisions to be made on issues of importance to all Yates County residents. I feel it is my duty to step up and stand up for the large number of under represented citizens in Yates County.
Terry Button (R), 61, incumbent
• Occupation: Farmer
• Has held multiple offices in agriculture and trucking industry associations
• Resident of District 2 39 years
• Major issue: Improving and expanding the quality of life in Yates County — land, water, farming. I’m looking out for my people and looking out for the department heads, because they do a good service for the public.
Richard L. Willson (R), 69, incumbent
• Occupation: Licensed Land Surveyor (Private Practice since 1983)
• County Legislator 6 years
• Resident of District 2 since 1976
• Major Issue: Sustainability of rural life in upstate New York. This includes conservation of resources, protection of agriculture and our lakes, creating middle class jobs, bringing broadband to rural and unserved areas of the county and assuring quality of life for our children and grandchildren.
Dick Harper (R), 65
• Occupation: Retired in May 2019 after working for Ferro Corporation for 42 years as a Chemical Engineer in various positions including Environmental, Health and Safety; Manufacturing Engineering and Quality Management.
• Town of Benton Town Board for 13 years
• Resident of District 2 35 years.
Major Issue: I can’t say there is any one issue that made me want to run as much as it was again maintaining responsible government and providing the best solutions possible to solve issues. I believe my engineering background which includes project management, problem solving methodologies as well as quality improvement methods can help bring industry practices to government.
Legislature District 3
(4 seats representing Milo)
Teresa M Hoban (D)
• Occupation: Chiropractor, owner Hoban’s Spirits, owner Arcade Building
• Current Village Trustee
• Resident of District 3 since 2008; grew up in Penn Yan, and have lived on and off here all of my life .
• Major Issues: Sales tax revenue generated by local towns and villages are not shared by Yates County with the local governments; Gas prices are uniformly too high from one end of town to the other. This issue needs to be addressed not just looked at. Yates County needs to be more involved with making the area attractive not to just tourists but also to those of us who choose to make this area our home. We need more parks, attractions, and activities created at the county level.
Valerie Brechko (D), 66
• Occupation: Retired Educator from Dundee Central School.
• Trustee on the Penn Yan Public Library Board
• Resident of District 3 area more than 40 years.
• Major Issues: My goal is to make sure the Yates County Legislature is representative of all the residents in our county. Over the past two years, I have attended the County Legislature committee meetings and the regular monthly meeting to ensure that the legislature keeps its eyes on our future and considers the diversity of our entire community when proposing and passing legislation.
P. Earle Gleason (R), 72, incumbent
• Occupation: Retired; worked for the Town of Milo Highway Department; co-owned Gleason and Clancy Men’s Wear; 20+ years at Yates County Veterans Service Agency;
• 24 years with the Milo Town Board; 2 years with the County Legislature; several offices with the American Legion on all levels; Penn Yan VFW; other service organizations
• Resident of District 3 65 + years
• Major Issues: I would like to continue serving the community as I have been doing. I feel that I have learned about the position and the county government structure and would like to have the opportunity to continue serving the people of the county.
Carlie Chilson (R), incumbent
• Occupation Occupational Therapist
• Legislator for one term
• Resident of District 3 for 22 years
• Major Issue: Public safety and health issues such as the tragedy of drug overdose, opioid abuse and suicide that impact all populations. I plan to continue to work on finding answers to help our community. I will continue to advocate for the mental health and well being of our community especially for our children, elderly and veterans. Public safety issues such as the jail and its population along with bail reform and discovery continue to bring challenges that need to be addressed.
Leslie Church (R), 56, incumbent
• Occupation: Corporate Secretary, Westfield Aviation
• 2010-2012 Town of Milo, Councilperson; 2012 -2019 Town of Milo, Supervisor; 2012- 2019 Yates County Legislature, District 3; Vice chair Yates County Legislature
• Resident of District 3 for 21 years
• Major issue: It was my willingness to serve the community that moved me to seek office and my desire to improve the quality of life in the Town of Milo and Yates County. With that in mind, I have worked supporting economic development, environmental programs, water and sewer infrastructure, broadband/fiber expansion in areas that are underserved, all of which will help support business and educational opportunities as well as quality of life.
Daniel W. Banach (R), 74, incumbent
• Occupation: Retired
• District 3 Legislator for the last 12 years, Village of Penn Yan Trustee for 8 years.
• Resident of District 3, Village of Penn Yan for 74 years.
• Major Issues: How we pay for and deal with all the New York State mandates that are coning in every week from Albany. Another issue is aging buildings (highway barns in Benton and the 40-year-old County Jail). I’ll work to keep Yates County the way it is now and not change it into something it is not.