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Batavia city firefighter Martin C. Phelps, whose fire-prevention education programs have gained widespread recognition, will seek a post on the Genesee County Legislature in the November election.

Phelps announced Tuesday that he would ask the county Democratic Committee to endorse him for the legislative seat now held by Stephen M. Hawley, a Republican. Phelps said he is registered Republican but will switch parties "to run for county government where I can promote public safety."

Hawley, a son of Assemblyman R. Stephen Hawley, R-Batavia, has served as legislator for the towns of Batavia and Stafford for the past six years.

For 13 years Phelps has carried on a personally financed campaign to push fire-prevention education in the schools. He recently said he would quit the program because the state has refused to help fund it.

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