Rice wins Franklin County District 7 legislative seat

SARANAC LAKE – Barbara Rice won a three-way race for the District 7 seat on the Franklin County Legislature by a wide margin Tuesday.

Rice, a Democrat, received 879 votes, defeating Republican Edwin Randig who received 273 votes and Independence Party candidate Curtis Reynolds, who collected 198 votes. District 7 includes the towns of Harrietstown and Franklin.

A cheer went up in the lobby of the Harrietstown Town Hall, where Rice had gathered with a group of her supporters and local Democrats, when the numbers were read aloud by her husband, Chad McCarthy.

“It’s exciting,” Rice told the Enterprise. “I’m really thankful to all the people who have encouraged me and supported me throughout this whole process, and all the people who got out to vote.”

Rice also commended Randig and Reynolds, each of whom was seeking political office for the first time.

“I think it’s very important to have choice, and I hope it’s not the last we see of them in local politics. They’re both good guys, and I think they can really contribute.”

Rice, the co-owner of Rice Furniture, will now hold two elected positions; she’s also a village of Saranac Lake trustee, a position she’s held since last year.

Randig, who was at the town hall when the results came in, shook hands with Rice and wished her well. He said he had no regrets.

“The voters did what they needed to do,” said Randig, the town of Harrietstown’s code enforcement officer. “They chose the right person. That’s the important thing.”

Reynolds hadn’t heard the numbers until the Enterprise called him Tuesday night. He said he planned to call Rice on Wednesday to congratulate her.

“I think she has the qualifications, and she certainly is a nice gal,” Reynolds said. “I’ve known her all my life. We all grew up and went to school together, all three of us. She obviously has the best interest of the county and certainly the people of District 7 in mind.”

Reynolds, a retired prison guard, described his first foray into politics as a learning experience. He said he may run for office again in the future.

Contact Chris Knight at 518-891-2600 ext. 24 or cknight@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.