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Republicans name Schwarting

 PENN YAN—Yates County Republicans have elected Robert Schwarting as their new chairman.
Although past chairpeople have been long time residents of the county, Schwarting is a relative newcomer. He served as Yates County planner from 1982 until 1988, but was not involved in local politics at that time. During his tenure in Yates County, he was also executive director of the Industrial Development Agency and held the same post with Western Finger Lakes Solid Waste Management Authority from 1988 until 1994. Two years ago he returned to Yates County and began his involvement in the local political arena. He was recently named to the town of Milo planning board.
Schwarting, who is a civil engineer, graduated from Cornell University where he now serves as an adjunct professor in public administration and planning. The post of chair of the local political party was a result of recruiting by chairman Jack Clancy who told him both vice chairpersons, Sue Spike and Taylor Fitch, had served for a long time and were not willing to take on the post of chairperson.
Schwarting said he told the group, “I don’t know as many people as you do, but I can certainly organize things. Local government is really where things happen. People need to pay attention to problems.”
The new chairperson has some goals in mind for his term that include getting organized and being successful in local elections this year and next.
Referring to the Republican organization in Yates County, Schwarting said, “The county is a collection of the strengths of the town’s committees. We need to understand what issues that are really concern them” He said he is not there to call the shots, but to understand what the town committees want and need. One method, which Schwarting called the simplest, is to “Go find out what our real strengths are and then build the party.” Part of this would be to register more Republicans. Currently there are 6,770 Republicans and 3,357 Democrats who are active voters in Yates County.
Outgoing chairman Jack Clancy, who served twice as chairperson, is going on to a different project. He is expected to be elected Seventh District American Legion Commander in 2009. When Clancy agreed to serve as chair for the term just ended, he told the group he would only serve for one year. Two vice chairpeople who served with Clancy this year have also stepped down. Sue Spike, representing Benton, and Taylor Fitch from Jerusalem have been succeeded by Charlene Ridley from Milo and Kevin Bailey from Jerusalem.
Schwarting now joins the list of Republican committee chairs that has included over many years Dr. John Tusch, Rich Wheeler, Michael Briggs and Clancy.

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