Alexander “Sandy” Treadwell is set to be the Republican candidate opposing U.S. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-Greenport, after the petitions of his two GOP rivals, Michael Rocque and John Wallace, were ruled invalid Monday by the state Board of Elections.
The board also threw out the petitions of would-be state Senate Democratic candidate Joanne Yepsen, despite her presence at the meeting where she provided written material making the case that she did file enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. Board Co-Chairman Douglas Kellner and Co-Executive Director Todd Valentine met in an office with Yepsen and went over some of the material. Kellner said she might be successful in a court challenge, but her paperwork was filed too late for the commissioners to thoroughly examine it, and so they were upholding the staff determination that Yepsen be disqualified.
In the congressional race, Board of Elections staffers on Monday held hearings to go over the signatures filed by Rocque and Wallace, and the objections to them, before making recommendations to the full board to throw out their petitions. The Treadwell campaign was represented at the hearings by a political consultant, John Haggerty.
Treadwell, a former state secretary of state and Republican chairman, also will have the Independence and Conservative party lines in the 20th Congressional District, because of board rulings made Monday. The board determined Gillibrand was not qualified to run in the Independence Party primary. And it ruled Rocque’s Conservative Party petitions invalid, in addition to his Republican ones. To be qualified to run, Gillibrand needed the support of Independence Party leaders, which she did not get.
Jill Greco, press secretary for the Gillibrand campaign, declined to comment on the Independence Party issue. Gillibrand will have the Democratic and Working Families lines in November.
Treadwell spokesman Peter Constantakes said the campaign thought it was legitimate to contest the validity of their opponents’ petitions, and acknowledged that some of the objectors were connected to the Treadwell campaign.
Treadwell, who is independently wealthy, has already been running campaign ads, as has Gillibrand.
Wallace said he would be more inclined to run as an independent, which is still possible, than to pursue a court challenge.
Rocque, of Clifton Park, said election law in New York favors establishment candidates.
Yepsen said she had not yet decided whether to pursue a court challenge. She blamed a Democratic rival, Michael Russo, for challenging her petitions. Russo has denied direct involvement.
One of the three challengers to Yepsen’s petitions, Donna Lynch, appeared at the hearing. A high school government teacher at Shenendehowa, Lynch denied a connection with any campaign. However, she said she is the sister of Cheryl Keyrouze, a former Saratoga Springs county supervisor, and did not care for the faction in Saratoga Springs politics led by former Mayor Valerie Keehn. Yepsen, also a county supervisor from Saratoga Springs, was a Keehn ally.
Lynch also said Yepsen’s petitions were riddled with errors. Yepsen said she collected many signatures at places such as the farmers market, rather than going door to door, because she did not have much time after Sen. Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, announced he wasn’t running for re-election.
If Yepsen stays off the ballot, there will be a Sept. 9 Democratic primary between Russo and Brian Premo.
Premo has been endorsed by the Saratoga and Rensselaer county Democratic committees. Republicans also will hold a primary that day, with the candidates being Roy McDonald and Raymond Seney. McDonald, an assemblyman from the town of Saratoga, has been endorsed by the county GOP committees and Bruno, who resigned last month.
McDonald is giving up his Assembly seat, and the Board of Elections Monday upheld the petitions of one of his would-be successors, Republican Christopher Laing.
Another Republican candidate in the 112th District, Tony Jordan, has the backing of Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco, R-Schenectady. The Democratic candidate is Ian McGaughey.
The board upheld petitions filed by a Democratic candidate, Joseph Sullivan of Albany, in the 21st Congressional District. A primary will choose the party’s nominee to succeed Rep. Michael McNulty, D-Green Island, who is retiring.