SMYRNA – Smyrna Supervisor James B. Bays said he expects to be challenged for his position each election year.
“As a Democrat in these Republican-dominated towns in upstate New York, it would not be wise for me to think otherwise,” he said.
So it came as no surprise when designating petitions returned to the Chenango County Board of Elections last month revealed that a Republican challenger had thrown his hat into the race for supervisor of Smyrna.
Bays will offer his own candidacy at the Aug. 11 caucus in his town, saying, “If the Dems will have me, I’ll run again and serve with pride.”
The candidate, John Grosso, could not be reached for comment. A call to Republican Party Chairman Tom Morrone to confirm Grosso’s candidacy was not returned by deadline this morning.
A lot has happened in this tiny north central Chenango County town over the past six years under Bays’ leadership. The population, about 1,493 for the town and village combined, has experienced the natural gas drilling phenomena like no other. Smyrna is the county’s epicenter for Herkimer Sandstone drilling, and starting point for numerous discussions at the county level about taxation, spacing units, compulsory integration, road use agreements, seismic testing permits and the future of high water volume hydraulic fracturing of the region’s Marcellus and Utica shales.