The 115th New York state Assembly district has been represented by Republican Janet Duprey for a decade. On May 12th she startled her constituents when she announced that she would not seek reelection due to glaucoma. Kevin Mulverhill, the Franklin County Sheriff, launched his campaign for the seat Wednesday in Plattsburgh.
Mulverhill announced in May he would run for Assembly and has since garnered the endorsements of the three county committees and filed petitions. He was in Plattsburgh Wednesday for the formal kickoff of his campaign. “I never aspired to be an assemblyman. It was never a lifelong dream. I went into Corrections, did four years there. Took a couple of State Police exams, went to the State Police academy graduated and did a 23 year career with State Police. I took all that experience and I brought it with me to the sheriff's office in Franklin County. All I’ve ever really aspired to do as a police officer and even as a sheriff was to help people. And you know a common thing that's that's heard around the jail and these committees that I sit on is just move the ball forward. We’ve got to approach what we do in the Assembly in the same manner. We're going to have disagreements. I might have disagreements with fellow assembly people and that's fine. But at the end of the day we need to move the ball forward.”
Mulverhill spent considerable time discussing a number of issues he believes Albany must address. “The heroin, the opioid epidemic. And something that I’ve learned as being the sheriff and watching these people try to recover when they're in jail is that craving is there for up to three years. So we're talking long term rehabilitation and that's what we need. Another is the ethics in Albany. It's embarrassing. It's got to stop. Education. What we do with Common Core? There was no action on standardized testing in this legislative session and I will tell you that I don't support Common Core. I support some form of standardized testing. We need to include our educators. The other thing we need to do is we've got to give some of the power back to our local schools. I talk a lot about infrastructure. By improving the infrastructure it's opened doors for us in manufacturing and it opens doors with tourism.”
Mulverhill was endorsed by fellow Republican, retiring Assemblywoman Duprey, who campaigned for him when he ran for sheriff. She noted that beyond his law enforcement background, Sheriff Mulverhill has been active in the community including the Rotary, Stop Domestic Violence, and co-chairs the county Prevention Task Force, which works with young people to prevent drug and alcohol use. “All of you know that my decision to retire was a really tough one. When Kevin and I spoke about his desire to run for the Assembly position his first comment to me, and I quote, what a great opportunity to help the people. At that moment I knew the people who live in the 115th District and throughout the North Country will be well served.”
Duprey knows both candidates seeking her job and has high praise for Democratic hopeful D. Billy Jones. But she says it’s plain who she would endorse. “I suppose you could say part of it's politics. I've been a Republican, elected Republican, for 41 years but more than that I truly in my heart, and listen I do like Billy Jones and we will continue to work together. We're still working on the closure of the Chateaugay prison sale and we're doing other things together and we will continue to do that. It's not personal. But in my heart I believe that Kevin Mulverhill has the qualifications and the caliber of candidate that I feel very comfortable supporting and and I'm certainly supporting him over over his opponent.”
Jones is the chair of the Franklin County Board of Legislators. He’s not surprised the Republican incumbent is endorsing the Republican candidate. “I like her and I respect her. But I think through this campaign you're going to see you know the differences between Kevin Mulverhill and myself and the voters will choose. I believe I can listen to people, try to solve problems that they have. That's what I've been doing in government for the last couple of years. One of my key things will be the economy and jobs and I think my strengths are that when I get to Albany I can be an effective leader and get things accomplished.”
New York’s 115th Assembly District includes Clinton and Franklin counties and a part of eastern St. Lawrence County.