As St. Lawrence County District Attorney Nicole Duve fights to secure a third term, former chief public defender Mary Rain has run a tough campaign to try and take her job. As our Barry Wygel tells us, the campaign has been emotional not just for the candidates, but for the community as a whole.
ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. -- There's no better way to describe the race for St. Lawrence County District Attorney than "emotionally charged."
"The reason I am here today is because my opponent doesn't think I should stand by the side of victims," said Mary Rain, republican candidate for St. Lawrence County District Attorney.
"To say that it is disheartening would be for me an understatement," said St. Lawrence County District Attorney Nicole Duve.
The race pits incumbent Democrat Nicole Duve against Republican challenger Mary Rain. Duve was first elected to the office eight years ago. Rain was a police officer before serving as the head of the St. Lawrence County Public Defender's office.
Rain has been intensely critical of Duve over the course of the campaign, citing what she calls the repeated failures of the office.
Duve said, "To suggest that I don't work hard every day to make sure my office can do what it can for the people of St. Lawrence County is just wrong."
"If you don't have a plan, you are doomed to commit the same errors over and over again," Rain said.
The race is being conducted against the backdrop of the unsolved murder of 12-year-old Garrett Phillips. The murder has defined the North Country community for the past two years, with Justice for Garrett signs being more prevalent than election signs.
Rain has blasted Duve for her handling of the case, even appearing at a campaign rally with Garrett's mother. Duve continues to assure the public that the case is being worked on, but won't comment directly, citing it is an ongoing investigation.
"Let me assure you there is no lack of vigor in that investigation," Duve said.
"I stand by the side of victims every day," said Rain.
Rain has made the race a referendum on Duve's performance over the past eight years and is confident that when given the choice, the voters will choose her. Duve says she will continue to fight on behalf of the victim's of the county and fight for justice.