Voters would make history, send message by electing James White, 21, as youngest county legislator in NY

Posted 2 November 2015 at 12:00 am


With all the commotion surrounding the Orleans County Sheriff’s race, the contests for Legislature have been all but forgotten. There are only two choices (out of a possible seven) this year.

Your only choices are in District 2 and Legislator At-large central. You can reward two incumbents for helping the Legislature Chairman destroy the County Nursing Home or you can vote for accountability.

You can show your disapproval of the unwillingness of two incumbents who represent Yates to take a stand on wind turbines in Yates using the excuse that there has been no survey (when that never stopped them before). Or, you can vote for candidates who want to protect our assets.

You can elect James White an at-large central legislator and Paul Lauricella District 2 legislator. James enjoys the support of both Paul and Allen Lofthouse. Their relationship shows that James has the ability to build bridges with people who do not always agree with him.

If elected legislator, James White would become New York State’s youngest legislator. Voters who can look past his youth might recognize his extraordinary maturity and commitment. Electing him would put Orleans County in a very positive light.

James has taken positions on a variety of subjects since announcing his candidacy. These include properly funding Child Protective Services, electing the C.A.O. of Orleans County, amending the S.A.F.E. Act to address issues of Constitutionality, and saying “No!” to wind turbines. He has made it quite clear that selling the County Nursing Home was a betrayal of our seniors.

His opponent seems to think that all he has to do is make unrealistic promises about something he has practically no control over. As an insider, he is part of the problem.

It is relatively rare for the more talented young people graduating from Orleans County schools to stay home and attempt to make a positive impact locally. Any teacher can tell you that such intelligent, interested, and motivated students graduate every year from every school in the County.

James White is one of those extraordinary young (21) people who cares enough that he is willing to stay. His candidacy is an opportunity for the people of Orleans County. Those who would discount him purely because of his youth are making a mistake.

One person he encountered going door-to-door told him, “You are too young to know what you are doing.” Yet, at 21, he is old enough that he could have served three years in the military by now! We have everything to gain and precious little to lose by putting him on the County Legislature. As a high school teacher of 34 years, I can assure you it would be terrific for the ability of our teachers to better motivate the young people of Orleans County.

We will either recognize the opportunity James White is offering us, or we won’t. We either “get it,” or we don’t. We can win one for ourselves, or we won’t. But we will not be able to say we didn’t have a chance to make history by electing James White to the County Legislature.

Gary Kent