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An Independence Party veteran speaks out; Stefanik reaffirmation continues

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Watertown Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham, who read the story on Matthew A. Doheny’s endorsement by the Independence Party, sent an email clarifying how the process will go for Mr. Doheny.

Essentially, the endorsement actually was the granting of a Wilson-Pakula, or out-of-party, authorization, which allows a candidate not registered in the party to appear on the party line. For Mr. Doheny to be placed on the ballot, Mr. Graham said, his supporters and Independence Party members will have to gain sufficient names on nominating petitions.

The “‘endorsement’ ... doesn’t guarantee the line, as there still have to be nominating petitions circulated and an in-party candidate could challenge in primary,” Mr. Graham wrote.

The mayor also said that a major-party candidate who loses in that party’s primary may be inclined to “use the legal avenues available to get off the minor lines.”

Mr. Graham has some experience with the Independence Party. He was a founder of the Jefferson County Independence Party Committee and ran for office on the party line, once for Assembly and once, in 2000, for U.S. Senate. He cut his affiliation with the party in 2010, but he did circulate Independence Party petitions for Mr. Doheny in 2012.

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The reaffirmation of support for the 21st Congressional District candidacy of Elise M. Stefanik continues.

Essex County Republican First Vice Chairman Win Belanger is today’s avid supporter.

Speaking in a news release on behalf of Essex County state Regional Chairman Ron Jackson, Mr. Belanger said: “Over the last few months, twelve County Republican Committees held open meetings to interview and select ‘the best’ representative to challenge Congressman Bill Owens. During the process, the Congressman announced he would not be running again, and our process continued to draw more candidates for interviewing. On February 5, 11 Chairs of the Republican County Committees of the 21st Congressional district selected Elise Stefanik as the candidate to best represent all the counties as our Congresswoman in Washington. This fact remains; she is still the best possible candidate regardless of the ‘Johnny Come Lately.’”

The release takes shots at both Tupper Lake Mayor Paul A. Maroun and Mr. Doheny.

Mr. Belanger went on to say: “How disappointing it is to hear Mayor Maroun say he will not run if Mr. Doheny does, and then Doheny decides to run. Both had ample opportunity to weigh in against Bill Owens, they did not. Both men had ample opportunity to weigh in against Stefanik, they did not. They only came forward after a Democrat was selected that they felt they could beat. Where are the same two men who previously felt that backing the committee selection was the way it should be? Those were the gentlemen that helped our party. Both Ron Jackson and I respect the right of those late comers to enter the race and look forward to their participation. Our regret is their lack of participation in the open and fair process.”

The release ends with strong words of support for Ms. Stefanik and her qualifications.

As a resident of Willsboro, Ms. Stefanik could be considered a “favorite daughter” of the Essex County Republican Committee.

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The Adirondack Daily Enterprise has a comprehensive interview with the two Green Party candidates seeking the party line in the 21st Congressional District. You can read the entire story here: http://wdt.me/Xu3pds.

In the story, St. Lawrence County resident Donald L. Hassig admits he may have made a mistake endorsing Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, in 2010.

To get on the Green Party primary ballot, candidates will have to obtain signatures on petitions equal to 5 percent of the number of registered party members in the 21st District. That number has not yet been ascertained.

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