Norfolk man challenging Democratic county legislator in District 12
Friday, August 29, 2014 - 11:29 am

NORFOLK -- John Burke of Norfolk has thrown his name in the hat as a candidate for the St. Lawrence County Legislature for District 12, serving the communities of Norwood, Norfolk, and a small portion of Potsdam.

In a letter to North Country This Week, Burke said he will try to unseat Democrat Jason A. Clark, also of Norfolk. Clark was appointed last October to fill the seat previously held by Sallie Brothers. Clark serves as spokesperson for the Northern Corridor Transportation Group and previously served as executive director of the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena. Clark now runs his own consulting firm and remains an advocate for a proposed four-lane highway in St. Lawrence County, referred to as “I-98.” His term expires in December.

“This past year, I had the opportunity to serve as a member of the bipartisan county-wide task force that helped save the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center,” Burke said.

Burke said that by working together across party lines, they were able to bring together union members, elected officials, business people and concerned citizens to convince New York State to reverse a ill-thought out plan that could have had disastrous effects on families across the North Country.

“I believe St. Lawrence County needs that same kind of common sense approach. For too long, county government has been the center of partisan bickering and political polarization that has marginalized employees, department heads and every day citizens,” he said.

Burke says instead of focusing on making life better for the people of our county, legislators have repeatedly raised taxes, cut services and frittered away the county's fund balance.

“As a member of the task force I saw how individuals of various political affiliations could leave politics behind and focus on what's best for the people of St. Lawrence County,” he says.

He resides with his wife Jan. He worked for 37 years in the mental health field and says he has a solid leadership background.

“I want to put that experience to work for you,” Burke said.