MALTA: Pastor prompts primary

The Rev. Peter Klotz has announced his intent to run as a Republican for a position on the Malta Town Board this fall, creating a Republican primary.

I know that I will be the outsider and that I will have to recruit my own workers and supporters and collect my own signatures to qualify for the primary, said Klotz at a press conference Tuesday, May 22. "It is my hope that when the votes of all the Republicans of Malta are counted, they will choose me and the years of experience that I bring."

Klotz said he had anticipated that the Malta Republican Committee would endorse the two incumbents, Donna Gizzi and Cliff Lange, in April. After interviewing Gizzi, Lange and newcomer Tara Thomas, the committee voted to endorse Gizzi and Thomas. Lange, who has been a member of the Malta Town Board for more than 20 years, decided last week not to pursue a Republican primary in an effort to win the seat and remain on the board.

"I believe that the town board is a place for experienced people who know how things have developed in the past and how the present and the future will build on that foundation," said Klotz. "Times of change, like those I believe Malta faces, call for leaders who have been there for the laying of the foundations. When Cliff Lange was not chosen by the committee and later decided to not run a primary, I felt it was still important for the voters to have an experienced alternative. I'm offering myself as an experienced, well-qualified, alternative Republican candidate."

While Klotz is well respected, his announcement has ruffled the feathers of the Malta Republican Committee. Anticipating Klotz's announcement, committee Chairman Bill Smith Sr. called his own press conference for Monday, May 21, to express his disappointment at Klotz's decision to not present himself as a candidate to the committee in April as well as create a Republican primary.

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