Fulton County

Firefighter, motorcycle crash survivor Brandon Lehr runs for Mayfield supervisorship

Mayfield Municipal offices with inset of a man in a tie

A look at the Mayfield municipal offices. Inset: A photo of Brandon Lehr. (Tyler A. McNeil/The Leader-Herald | Photo submitted)

MAYFIELD — Dial back the clock to June 2020.

Doctors at Albany Medical Center didn’t expect Brandon Lehr to keep his limbs or work again. At one point, it was unclear if he would live.

But Lehr and his girlfriend survived a life-threatening drunk driver-induced motorcycle crash on state Highway 30A. The 47-year-old firefighter has been working again.

And now, he’s running to become Mayfield’s next town supervisor.

“Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that when things get tough, the tough get tougher, you just work through things and keep pushing forward,” Lehr said. “Not that that necessarily would translate to the supervisor position, but it might.”

The Mayfield resident and political newcomer recently announced plans to fill the seat of outgoing leader Rick Argotsinger. Should he win the town GOP endorsement, Lehr likely won’t face much of a challenge in the deep red Great Sacandaga Lake-area town.

Hoping to bring a younger perspective to town affairs for about four years now, the seventh-generation resident waited for his two children, 20 and 22, to become independent before deciding to campaign for office.

“I think there’s a need to have more of a balance of the views representing all demographics within the town,” said Lehr. “Unfortunately, the current system prevents working age people with day jobs from being in those roles.”

The fire captain works two 24-hour days for the Gloversville Fire Department and several part-time shifts for Harts Motorsports on West Main Street in Mayfield. He’s been with the latter ATV dealer for more than 20 years.

Christian Rowe, 21, has been working with Lehr for a few months now at the shop.

“He’s taught me a lot of things and he’s really good at what he does,” Rowe said, “and he tends to be good at whatever he does.”

Lehr, a College of Saint Rose graduate, started working at the shop and waiting tables in the early 2000s to make ends meet after deciding not to pursue a career in education. In a change of heart during student teaching, he was convinced that the profession required him to “tiptoe around” pressing matters.

Exploring a change in direction, Lehr joined the Mayfield Volunteer Fire Department and fell in love with the work. The volunteer company’s eventual assistant chief landed a civil service role with the Gloversville battalion in 2005.

Between all of his roles and childhood connections, Lehr deems his networks pivotal to leading the community of roughly 6,000 residents, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Facing life-threatening injuries sustained during the 2020 motorcycle crash, squad members, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department and community members raised $45,000 for Lehr’s and girlfriend Rachel Ortega’s healthcare expenses within days.

He’s been back on the job full-time at the Gloversville Fire Department for about six months.

“I’ll never forget that feeling and how proud I was to call Mayfield home,” said Lehr. “It was a feeling that not everybody else has experienced obviously, but one that I wish everyone could.”

Should he win in November, the Mayfield resident hopes to balance economic development with conservation planning, and seek out ways to drive tourism in the seasonal Adirondack community.

“I’m in the market for continuing to explore the areas of recreational opportunities, taking advantage of the vast natural resources that we have here to attract some commerce and tourism without compromising the small town feel,” Lehr said. “I think that’s what attracts people to this area; it’s a nice, small town.”

Including the supervisorship, six elected positions are up grabs in the town of Mayfield, and three positions in the village of Mayfield.

Tyler A. McNeil can be reached at 518-395-3749 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @TylerAMcNeil

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