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Candidates, representatives speak to gun owners

    PENN YAN—Around 120 people came to meet candidates and representatives at the Saturday, Aug. 20, Shooters Committee on Political Education annual pig roast and “meet the candidates” event.
    Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, Sen. Tom O’Mara, a representative from Congressman Tom Reed’s office, Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike, candidate for sheriff and Deputy Ken Kamholtz, and New York State Supreme Court candidates Tom Moran and a representative for Nancy Smith were present. The featured speaker was Bill Nojay, radio personality and political activist. Stephen Aldstadt, president of the SCOPE state-level board of directors, was also present.
    Spike and Kamholtz represented the only two candidates running for a Yates County position. Both will also be on the Sept. 14 Republican primary ballot. Spike spoke first, saying he has served 20 years in the public safety sector. He said he doesn’t feel it’s time for him to retire yet.
    Spike also pointed out one instance he helped save the county thousands of dollars by changing the requirement that all 38 county corrections officers receive firearms training; now only one-third of the officers get the training. He added he and the sheriff’s department have worked with community groups, like SCOPE, to do programs in the area.
    Kamholtz cited his experience in the sheriff’s department. He said that the partnerships with groups like SCOPE would continue. He said in general, “not one thing will change.” Kamholtz added he believes rights of citizens should not be infringed.
“There’s not one thing the sheriff has done that I won’t do,” said Kamholtz.
    Moran and Smith are both running for positions in the seventh district of the state supreme court, which in addition to Yates includes seven other counties. Moran is currently the Livingston County District Attorney. He kept his speech short, saying he had 20 years experience as a prosecutor and 12 years in law enforcement. Smith is seeking re-election after serving on the state supreme court for 14 years and holding other judicial offices.
    Palmesano was the first representative to speak to the SCOPE members. He talked briefly about the legislation that was approved this year allowing rifle hunting in a number of counties including Yates. O’Mara thanked the SCOPE members for their support. He talked about how there was no anti-gun day in Albany again this year. Nojay talked before O’Mara on how members from SCOPE state-wide have visited the state capital annually over the last few years in support of gun rights and the Second Amendment. Reed’s director of his district office, Joe Sempolinski, was present for the congressman. He explained Reed was in Israel with other congressional members.



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