GOUVERNEUR Businessman Joel J. LaPierre, a Republican, announced Thursday he is running for the St. Lawrence County District 4 legislative seat of Alex A. MacKinnon, R-Fowler, who is retiring.
A Democratic candidate for the seat has not emerged yet. District 4 includes the towns of Hammond, Macomb, Rossie, Fowler, Edwards and Pitcairn.
Mr. LaPierre, who lives in the town of Fowler, is co-owner of RSI Roofing, Spragueville, and wants to use his 23 years of business experience to reduce government and taxes. I would look at it from a business point of view and streamline where I could, Mr. LaPierre said. Im not a politician. Im a business person.
Many of the obstacles to success in business come from the state, he said, but county legislators have a role, such as making recent changes in Solid Waste that will keep tipping fees in line. There are items we do have a say on, Mr. LaPierre said. I can see how the rules and regulations are just choking us.
Mr. LaPierre, son of Marilyn J. and Roger A LaPierre, a Gouverneur village trustee, worked summers as a roofer during his studies at SUNY Potsdam, and went to work full time in 1992 with his father as a roofer at RSI. He eventually bought out his father and became a partner in the company in 2004. The other owner of RSI is Randy S. Bushaw, Antwerp.
Joel LaPierre has not previously held elected office, but he became more politically active with the passage of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, which he opposed. He helped to organize rallies and came to the county Board of Legislators four times over the last year to lobby against it.
He said he believes his involvement in the Northern New York Builders Exchange, Associated Builders and Contractors, National Roofing Contractors Association, Edwards Snowmobile Club and National Rifle Association will help him as a legislator.
His wife, Bridgette P., is director of school enhancement at St. James Elementary School.
Mr. LaPierre is a member of St. James Parish and volunteers at St. James Elementary School.