Opportunity Knocks

GERRY – Citing an extensive business background spanning four decades, legislator Larry Barmore said Wednesday he will be running for Chautauqua County clerk.

The Gerry Republican and majority leader of the legislature became the first to declare a run for the office after longtime clerk Sandy Sopak announced she was retiring Monday. Sopak has been county clerk for 20 years.

Barmore noted his 44 years of business experience, 40 of which have been as owner of Gay Mark Tire & Wheel in Cassadaga.

“I have vast experience in managing a staff, working within a budget and delivering service to the public,” Barmore said in a news release.

“I feel my expertise in this field will allow me to make a seamless transition into the county clerk’s office and continue the tradition of service that the people of Chautauqua County have come to expect from the county clerk,” he said.

Barmore is in his third term in the legislature and has been a member of the Administrative Services and Public Facilities committees, as well as the Airport Task Force and the legislative redistricting committee.

The Chautauqua County Republican Committee will not officially endorse a candidate for county clerk until May 30. However, Chairman Allan Hendrickson said Wednesday Barmore is likely to get the nod.

“I’m sure he will get it,” Hendrickson said. “I’m very satisfied with him stepping in. We’re sorry to see Sandy go, but we understand she’s been around for 20 years, and I’m sure she has things she would like to do.”

No other Republican candidate has expressed interest in the clerk position.

Legislator Lori Cornell, D-Jamestown, said she is considering a run for clerk, but has yet to make an announcement.

“I plan to run for office and am currently determining which office will best allow me to continue serving the people of Jamestown and of Chautauqua County,” Cornell said recently.

Norman P. Green, county Democratic Committee chairman, could not be reached for comment.

Barmore is a member of the Gerry Free Methodist Church, serving on the Praise and Worship team. He also served as finance committee chairman, assistant treasurer and as a Sunday school teacher.

He resides in Gerry with his wife, Carol. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren.

“As county clerk, I will continue to work hard for the people of Chautauqua County as I have during my time in the legislature,” he said.