District 12 Vote Set For Tonight In Mayville

A new Democratic representative could take Fred Larson’s former District 12 seat after tonight’s meeting of the Chautauqua County Legislature in Mayville.

With a simple majority vote, which translates to 10 “yes” votes, Lakeview Avenue resident Beth Kresge will be the new representative of Jamestown’s north side.

The seat has been vacant since Larson was sworn in as the second Jamestown City Court Judge. Legislators blocked Chuck Cornell from filling the spot shortly thereafter by a lack of three votes in his favor.

Since then, a Democratic Committee consisting of 10 members from District 12 gathered and nominated Kresge as their new neighborhood representative.

“I’m hoping that the legislature will know that I’m looking to learn, looking to serve and hoping to be able to do something good for this district where I live, and for the county as a whole,” Kresge said, adding that if approved by the legislature, she plans to run for the seat in November’s general election.

Although she has never run for office, Kresge said she gained political experience as a liaison for former Congressman Jack Quinn, the Republican representative for most of Buffalo and Erie County from 1993-2005. She also worked for former Congressman Amory Houghton, an upstate Republican also in office from 1993-2005.

“I suspect that the full legislature should have no reason not to seat her,” said Norm Green, Democratic Party chairman, who added that he was pleased with the committee’s selection.

Greg Rabb is one of the 10 committee members, and he was outspoken about how disappointed he was when Cornell was denied the District 12 seat at May’s legislature meeting. However, he’s pleased with the committee’s new nominee.

“Beth is a very community-minded, intelligent person,” Rabb said. “I would love to see her represent me on the County Legislature. She understands the city and cares about the county, and she’d be a fantastic addition.”

He added that he was pleased to see Cornell appointed to another one of Larson’s empty seats – a position on the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, which was approved by Jamestown City Council on Monday night and reported in Tuesday’s edition of The Post-Journal.

“The good news is that we’re not losing Chuck’s talents, and we’re hopefully going to get another person to represent District 12,” Rabb said. “I like that we’re bringing in someone new, a young female. It adds diversity and a nice mix.”

Kresge is a stay-at-home mom with a strong presence in the Lakeview Avenue Community Action Program, a group dedicated to the beatification of the north side of the city.

The County Legislature will hold its regular meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the legislative chambers of the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.