Watertown council candidate no longer seeking seat

Mar. 13—WATERTOWN — Already one of 13 potential City Council candidates is bowing out from running in November's election.

In a text message on Monday, Robert T. Schorr announced that he isn't running for two vacant council seats, citing that he broke his ankle and he's become the caretaker for his aunt.

That leaves 12 candidates who have picked up petitions to run, according to the Jefferson County Board of Elections.

Washington Street resident Maryellen Blevins was the most recent person to express an interest in running, according to the board of elections.

Last year, Ms. Blevins became a vocal critic of council when she opposed a new Stewart's Shops convenience store next to her home and her husband's therapeutic massage. She also filed an unsuccessful lawsuit to try to stop the city from purchasing the Watertown Golf Club for $3.4 million.

So far, Councilman Patrick J. Hickey, former Councilman Leonard G. Spaziani and former candidate Benjamin P. Shoen have formally announced their candidacies. Councilman Hickey is running for reelection.

Other former council candidates Jason M. Traynor, T.J. Babcock and Matthew J. "Spider" Melvin have also picked up petitions, according to the board of elections.

The others who are circulating petitions are political newcomers Dr. Robert Kimball, Scott Garrabrant and Michael Wratchford, who recently attended council meetings to criticize the purchase of the golf club. The eleventh resident is Cliff Lashway.

The purchase of the golf club in Thompson Park seems to be the major issue looming in the council race.

The dozen potential candidates are running for two four-year seats, one that is being vacated by Councilwoman Sarah V. Compo Pierce, who is running for mayor.

Councilwoman Lisa A. Ruggiero is the only other candidate running for mayor. Current Mayor Jeffrey M. Smith isn't seeking reelection.

Candidates for both the council seats and for mayor need to get 165 signatures on petitions and then can submit them to the county board of elections from April 3 to 6.