MAYVILLE – Another county-wide office holder is announcing that she is not running for reelection. Chautauqua County Clerk Sandy Sopak Monday announced she will be retiring at the end of this year and will not seek re-election to a sixth term of office.
Sopak, only the third woman to hold the office of county clerk since 1811, began her first term of office as Chautauqua County Clerk in 1994. Since then, she helped to bring the clerk’s office into the 21st century, by updating the office and making the transition to a more computer-based and electronic system of record keeping.
Sopak’s efforts have been recognized across the state, and the country. In 1999, Congressman Amo Hougton recognized Sopak on the floor of Congress for the Award of Merit, presented by the National Genealogical Society, noting Sopak was the first county clerk ever to receive this award.
There has been no official announcement by either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party regarding who will be running for the open seat. GOP Committee Chairman Allan Hendrickson told WRFA earlier this month they have a candidate in mind, but he had no plans of announcing who it would be until Sopak made her retirement official.
For the democrats, county legislator Lori Cornell (D-Jamestown) has been mentioned as a possible candidate, but she also would not say if the county clerk’s position was something she planned on running for when WRFA spoke with her last week. Cornell recently held a fundraiser for her campaign, but would not say if she was going to use the money to run for reelection as a county legislator or if it would be used for seeking a higher office.