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Challengers seek state committee posts

Challengers seek state committee posts

Unless petition challenges prevent it, there may be a rare Democratic primary this September, with w

Unless petition challenges prevent it, there may be a rare Democratic primary this September, with well known party members vying for rather obscure posts.

Former Johnstown Mayor Robert Schultz and his running mate, Rosemary Leo-Pappas, have filed as candidates to unseat the county’s veteran representatives on the state Democratic Committee — former election commissioner Marilyn J. Cornell and party stalwart Edmund C. Jasewicz. Cornell and Jasewicz have been on the state committee for about five years, said Cornell, who said the county committee continues to support them.

Cornell and Jasewicz responded to the bid to unseat them by filing a challenge Friday to the joint petitions submitted last week by Schultz and Leo-Pappas.

Cornell said Monday she and Jasewicz have reviewed the petitions but have not yet decided whether to take the final step of filing specific objections for a ruling.

“It’s a lot of names to have to knock off,” said Cornell, of the task of successfully nullifying 58 signatures on the Schultz/Leo-Pappas petitions. Schultz and Leo-Pappas filed 438 signatures, well above the 380 threshold to establish their candidacies.

Cornell and Jasewicz filed 439 signatures on their petitions.

Cornell said the county committee is upset with Schultz and Leo-Pappas — particularly because the two have not attended county committee meetings.

County Chairman Albert Hayes did not return a telephone call. Messages were left on the answering machines of Schultz and Leo-Pappas, but they did not respond by late Monday afternoon.

If all petitions ultimately stand, Cornell said, there will be a primary in September. A challenge in that case must be completed today.

Board of Elections officials accepted a completed challenge Monday from former Broadalbin town Councilwoman Joy Canfield, who is seeking to disqualify fellow Republican Kimberly A. Verrego, the town clerk, who is facing an unopposed run for re-election.

Verrego was unavailable for comment, but Canfield said she is not satisfied with Verrego’s job performance and is seeking to remove her so that a candidate filing as an independent in August will receive the opportunity.

Verrego needed 86 signatures to establish her candidacy and filed 111.

Canfield said Monday she believes the county election commissioners, “if they’re objective and fair,” will uphold her specific complaints and disqualify Verrego.

Canfield said Verrego’s petitions have problems with listing of dates, witness procedures and omissions of required information.

“Just because there is no one else running does not mean you overlook the rules,” Canfield said.

Election officials said Monday they expect the commissioners to rule by the end of the week.

Republican County Chairman and Election Commissioner Dexter Risedorph could not be reached Monday for comment.

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