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Legislature’s Race Features Two Good, Worthy Candidates

There aren’t many contested races for the Chautauqua County Legislature in the southern part of the county, but the two that are contested are quite interesting.

In District 16, incumbent John Davis, R-Frewsburg, is running against Gerrit Cain, L-Poland. Davis is ending his first term in office while Cain is a newcomer to local politics running exclusively on the Liberterian Party, a third party that gained a foothold during last year’s gubernatorial campaign by Larry Sharpe.

Davis has been a solid member of the legislature for the past two years as a member of the Administrative Services Committee. We note Davis dutifully makes the rounds of the Poland, Carroll and Kiantone town boards to report to the boards what the county is doing that may affect town residents in Davis’ district and to hear any concerns that need to be taken back to the legislature. It is quite the commitment that Davis has made and he has done the job well in his first two years.

Cain, meanwhile, is an interesting case. He believes firmly in the Libertarian Party’s ideals that small, non-intrusive government is better than activist, progressive government. He wants to see more involvement from sport fishing and outdoor groups in lake and waterway management, explore the option of advertising space for outdoor and sporting goods stores near lake and river access points to raise money for lake and river improvements, encourage towns to adopt Section 421-F of the state Property Tax Law to allow for partial property tax exemptions for residential home improvements and consolidate code and zoning enforcement to the county level. Cain has run an impressive campaign for a newcomer, and it is refreshing to see a candidate actively making proposals on ways to possibly streamline government.

Those with long memories will remember, too, the last time two true, independent third party candidates were on the Chautauqua County Legislature. Scot Stutzman, a registered member of the Independence Party, was a tireless worker who proposed several policies while Tina Hallquist, a registered Conservative, was a constant voice for lower taxes.

Both candidates are worthy of a place on the Chautauqua County Legislature, and it’s frankly a shame they live in the same district. Voters can’t go wrong with either candidate. We feel they will be well represented by either John Davis or Gerrit Cain.

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