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Sat., Aug. 29
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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About that convict thing...


I got pinged today about something that's on Mayor Jeff Graham's blog.
Mr. Graham says that "The long knives are out" in the race for mayor (the Nov. 8 bout between Mr. Graham and Councilman Jeff Smith).
As proof, Mr. Graham says: "Last night a local gadfly was at the GOP dinner telling everyone I arranged for a convict to get a Congressional nomination...Not true."
Here's what the archives say: Mr. Graham did help the man get on the ballot, but when he found out about his checkered past, he withdrew his support.
From a July 23, 1996 story:
"The man dropped by the Jefferson County Independence Party as a north country congressional candidate said this morning he was never serious about the bid for the seat held by Rep. John M. McHugh, R-Pierrepont Manor.
'We were just kidding around. I wouldn't go Washington anyway,' said William H. Beaumont, 209 Farwell St.
The local Independence Party, headed by Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham, dropped its support of Mr. Beaumont after petitions were filed on his behalf. Mr. Graham withdrew his support after learning from The Times that Mr. Beaumont had been jailed for six months 35 years ago on a 'morals charge.'
Mr. Graham's name appears as a witness to signatures on 16 of the 17 petitions submitted to the state Board of Elections. Independence Party member Steven P. Duffany appears on the other petition.
Mr. Graham said this morning that he should have done more checking on Mr. Beaumont's background, but at the time he had no reason to believe Mr. Beaumont wouldn't have been a good candidate.
'I can truly say I was taken aback,' Mr. Graham said. He and the county Independence Party threw their support behind Mr. McHugh after learning last week about Mr. Beaumont's past."
And as we know in the north country, you can't un-get someone on the ballot. Mr. Beaumont received 6,750 votes in the race that Mr. McHugh went on to win.

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