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Primary looms for Fredonia seat

Susan Parker is pictured submitting her primary petitions to the Chautauqua County Board of Elections.

In one more sign the county’s Democratic party is far from unified, a primary will take place in June regarding the District 4 seat for the Chautauqua County Legislature.

Susan Parker, a nurse, social worker and mother of three, has recently announced plans to run a campaign. “There are many people in our Pomfret community and in our county, who want progress and change in our county,” she said. “I want to make it my job to give voice to my community and help lead that progress and change.”

Parker will be taking on three-term incumbent Christine Starks, who when she first ran in 2015 was endorsed by both the Democrats and Republican party. In 2019, she was opposed by Melanie Mann.

Parker said she has been “concerned about the county’s trajectory for a long time.” She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia and was district nurse at the Fredonia Central Schools and returned to school while still employed by the district. She earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Buffalo.

As a social worker, Parker worked to help veterans at the Dunkirk VA Clinic. Parker and her husband, Michael Bobseine, raised their three children in Fredonia.

“I have been watching with great concern as we have continued to lose so many people from our county, as we have lost jobs, as the levels of poverty and the needs of our most vulnerable have increased,” she said. “We need to bring new energy and different ideas to bear. As I campaign in our community for the June primary; and if successful, continue the campaign to the November election, I aim to put together a coalition of people who are more interested in getting things accomplished.”

Since county redistricting, District 4 has been a Democratic stronghold. It makes up a large portion of the village of Fredonia and a part of the town of Pomfret.

Starks has served in the Legislature as the ranking member for the Planning and Economic Development and Administrative Services Committees, and has participated in the budget and hiring processes. Starks also has been endorsed by the Working Families Party.

Another Democratic primary taking place in the north county is in the city of Dunkirk. Natalie Luczkowiak, who earned the party nod, will face off against incumbent Don Williams Jr. for First Ward council.

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