ELIZABETHTOWN - Voters across New York State who are registered in a party will have a chance to go to the polls Sept. 14 for this year's primary elections.
In Essex County, there are several intra-party races being contested at the federal, state, and local levels.
Primary elections in Willsboro will narrow the field of five candidates contesting the supervisor seat, which became vacant with the resignation of Lori Lincoln in June. The winner gets the remaining year of her term.
Four Republicans in Willsboro have thrown their names in the ring for party endorsement and the chance to face Democrat Edward Hatch, a former election commissioner, who was supervisor in the 1970s and will also be on the ballot in November. They include business owner Darren Darrah, former supervisor Robert Ashline, Willsboro Central School teacher Lane Sayward, and Scott Hommes, son of the late Sheriff Henry Hommes. All five candidates also registered independent petitions and could potentially remain on the November ballot without party endorsement.
One of the most hotly contested races may be for the Republican nod in the 23rd Congressional District, where Watertown's Matt Doheny faces off against Doug Hoffman of Saranac Lake for the chance to challenge Democrat Bill Owens for his seat.
Senate seats are being contested in both parties with incumbent Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand being challenged by Bronx lawyer Gail Goode. A Republican primary for the same seat will feature a three-way race between Joe DioGuardi, David Malpass, and Bruce Blakeman.
Republicans will also choose a challenger for the full-term U.S. Senate seat currently held by Charles Schumer. Gary Berntsen and Jay Townsend are the candidates vying for GOP endorsement.
At the state level, Conservatives and Republicans will both select a challenger to Democrat Andrew Cuomo, who will be vacating the attorney general's seat to run for governor.
State Assemblyman Rick Lazio will be featured in both primaries, where he is challenged by Ralph Lorigo for the Conservative endorsement and Carl Paladino for the Republican nod. Republicans will also choose between Lazio's running mate, Greg Edwards, and Thomas Ognibene in the race for lieutenant governor.
Five Democrats are lined up in a primary to seek Cuomo's attorney general position: Richard Erodsky, Eric Schneiderman, Sean Coffey, Eric DiNallo, and Kathleen Rice.
The Sept. 14 primary will be the first elections in Essex County to feature the new Opti-Scan voting machines. Election commissioners urged voters not to fear the new machines.
"Instead of pulling the lever, they're filling in the oval," said Republican election commissioner Derinda Sherman. "They take it to the machine and it goes in just like a dollar in a Coke machine."
Primaries for party committee members and other local positions are slated in towns throughout Essex County. Contact the Board of Elections at 873-3474 for more information, including voting locations and times.