Supporters of Sheriff Burns Turn Out for Campaign Fundraiser at IACA

by Timothy W. Scee II
Special to
Published August 30
, 2010

—  Supporters of Jefferson County Sheriff John P. Burns, some traveling from out of state, united at the Italian-American Civic Association Sunday for a chicken barbecue fundraiser to benefit the candidate’s re-election campaign.  

“It’s been an incredible day for the supporters of John Burns,” Sean M. Hennessey, the Jefferson County Democratic Chairman, said. “People from throughout the community, people from St. Lawrence County, Jefferson County, Lewis County, people just, droves coming to the Italian-American Club to support our great sheriff, John Burns."

Smokey’s Bar B-Q, owned by George A. Day of Chaumont, catered the event which drew a crowd of nearly 500.  

Burns said Smokey’s Bar B-Q began making pulled pork sandwiches once the barbecued chicken was sold out due to the large turnout.  

“It’s just an incredible turnout,” the sheriff said. “We just never expected to go through 160 halves in less than two hours.” 

The candidate, who has served eight years as Jefferson County Sheriff, said his support has grown steadily since his last campaign as “friends of friends” began attending fundraisers. 

“I think I have the same amount of supporters from the last time, but I’ve certainly picked up a number since then,” Burns said. “Friends of friends just show up.” 

One of the sheriff’s “friends,”  Watertown native Karen Terry, traveled from New Jersey to attend Sunday’s fundraiser at the 192 Bellew Ave. organization. 

“I was born and raised here and it’s a great place to be from and a great place to come back,” Terry said. “I’m here from South Plainfield, N.J., to support John Burns for sheriff.”  

Burns said his work as sheriff is unfinished and that he would like to continue a final term to fully implement programs recently introduced to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, including citizen-patrolled handicapped parking enforcement. 

“I started some programs this year and, also towards the end of last year, that I want to make sure get done,” he said.  

Burns added, “I’m not ready to retire yet so at least one more term would be great.” 

The sheriff will is being challenged by Watertown Republican Charles F. “Chuck” Ruggiero, Jr., a part-time Cape Vincent police officer. 

The sheriff's 9-year-old son, Dane, will be a fourth-grade student at Immaculate Heart Central Intermediate. 

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