PEEKSKILL County Legislator for District 1 John Testa is challenging the signatures gathered by his Democratic opponent Michael Kane that led to his Independence Party endorsement.
"We are challenging his number of signatures we believe they were obtained improperly, Testa said. For example, one list was inserted into the volume from a judicial delegate sheet, which is a different race.
Kane, who also has a Working Families Party endorsement, also gathered Independence line signatures from residents who had already signed for Testa, making those signatures invalid, Testa claims.
Kane has 104 signatures, and we are contesting that only 30 are valid out of that 104, Testa said. He needs 79 valid signatures to get on the ballot."
Testa, an incumbent Republican who also has a Conservative Party endorsement, said Republicans were also looking to challenge the Democrats running on the Independence Party line at the city level: Mayor Mary Foster, Deputy Mayor Don Bennett and two city council candidates.
The Kane campaign released a statement Thursday criticizing Testas challenge. It reads:
Testa wants to stifle the selection of a party and prevent that Party to go to its voters with their endorsed candidate. This is typical for a professional politician: pushing around challengers behind closed doors in order to prevent the voters from having a say.
This should be a campaign of ideas and whats best for the citizens of Westchester County across all political parties. We welcome the prospect of a primary with Legislator Testa as a means of expressing those ideas to the public and letting them decide who to support on the merits of the ideas presented.
Unfortunately, if Legislator Testas attempt to throw Mike Kane off the ballot are successful this will not be the case. Its about the people, and giving them the choice in September to decide who to support on the Independence line, not the back room dealings of professional politicians scared of unpredictable outcomes
But Testa said that he was simply asking for an endorsement he rightly earned and that residents deserved to know the process was transparent and fair. The challenge wont keep Kane from running, he said. Hes going to be on two lines already, Testa said. Anybody who wants to vote for him has the opportunity to do so.
Check back often for updates on this years elections in Peekskill.
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