When running to be your Chautauqua County Clerk, Larry Barmore made a lot of promises.
In June and twice in October, Barmore or someone on his behalf made a point of saying politics had no place in the clerk's office. Perhaps more troubling is Barmore's oft-stated promise to run the office in the same manner as Sandy Sopak had for so many years. That promise was made times too numerous to count and invoked the legacy of a popular public servant who had spent more than 20 years building an impeccable public record.
It took less than three weeks for Barmore to break those promises.
"I am no longer a legislator and as such I have vowed not to interfere in legislative business," Barmore wrote to county legislators. "I have, however, discovered a great grievance being thrust upon a good person and have decided to discard my vow this one time in his defense."
Some may wonder whether or not Barmore had a good reason for breaking his vow not to participate in legislative affairs.
There were many voices whispering during the debate over the reappointment of Public Defender Nathaniel Barone and more than enough ways for Republicans to get more information on happenings during former Public Defender Tom Rankin's term. There was no reason to open the can of worms that is election year politics and court cases with his complaints about Norman Green, county election commissioner, or Judge Joseph Dillon. There was no need to demean Jeff Shevlin, an attorney who was possibly in contention to be the next Public Defender.
In the end, Barmore lost on multiple fronts. Barone was reappointed handily.
Even worse is the quick black mark on an office that had stayed out of political battles for so long.
Larry Barmore has proven himself to be a supporter of the Gerry and Cassadaga communities who gives much time to the Valley Historical Society in Sinclairville and to the Gerry Free Methodist Church. That's a reason so many people believed him when he invoked Sopak's name and accepted her endorsement during last year's campaign for election. It's a reason some are so disappointed he would enter a political argument so soon after stepping away from the legislature.
Political gamesmanship can run deep, but we trust the clerk's office will have Barmore's full attention from now on.