NORWICH – The impending retirement of Chenango County Judge Howard Sullivan has so far yielded a field of two candidates vying for the post – both Republicans. With a primary date now set for September, one of those candidates is alleging that the local party’s endorsement of his opponent is “dirty politics at its finest.”
Norwich lawyer Frank Revoir Jr. will face off against District Attorney Joseph McBride when registered Republicans head to the polls Sept. 11 to choose their party’s official candidate for November’s election, but Revoir has cried foul over the Chenango GOP’s endorsement of McBride, announced in The Evening Sun on April 4.
“The historical tradition is that the endorsement comes after the primary,” Revoir said. “The purpose of the primary is to give its membership the opportunity to explore candidates; leaders then rally support behind the chosen candidate. That’s how it’s done.”
Revoir says the “pre-endorsement” of McBride gives his opponent an unfair advantage. “It leads the over 12,500 active registered Republicans in Chenango County into the belief that the race is over and that (McBride) is the pre-declared winner,” he said. Further, Revoir alleges the endorsement puts all the resources of the Republican party at his opponent’s disposal. “Essentially, he’s got the whole committee working for him now,” he said.
A meeting of the Chenango County Republican Committee took place at the Norwich Town Hall on March 29, with 31 of the group’s 60 members in attendance. Prior to the meeting, both McBride and GOP Chairman Tom Morrone sent letters to committee members, soliciting the endorsement of the D.A. Revoir wrote a letter too, urging the Republicans to refrain from endorsing anyone at all. Both candidates were invited to speak to the assembly in March to present their case, Morrone said. McBride attended; Revoir was unable to for personal reasons, but did send a representative. After the presentations, all but one of the delegates present voted in favor of endorsing McBride. Revoir contends those who skipped the meeting did so because “they didn’t want any part of it.”