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GOP suing to remove Democrats from the WFP line

Apr 12, 2021 1:45 pm

Steve Hughes is reporting for the Times Union Republican organizations statewide have filed lawsuits trying to remove Democrats from the state Working Families Party line ahead of the June primaries. Lawsuits in state Supreme Court have been filed in Albany, Onondaga, Monroe, Niagara, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady counties. The lawsuits allege the petitions from Democrats were not properly authenticated to run on the Working Families line. The move comes as local Republicans in at least three counties have also tried to co-opt the WFP line. The GOP made the move after other minor parties they relied on to boost their voting totals in elections were eliminated from the ballot under new state election thresholds. The lawsuit filed in Albany County is asking the court to invalidate the petitions filed by more than 40 Albany County Democrats. A hearing on the lawsuit is set for April 20. Randy Bashwinger, the Albany County GOP chairman, alleges the WFP copied and pasted the signatures authorizing the petitions, rather than have original handwritten signatures, for most counties in the state. "They did it all the way through," he said. "Hopefully the ruling causes the candidates to lose the WFP line. If the shoe was on the other foot, I guarantee we'd lose our endorsements." A state WFP spokeswoman said the party is confident their process was legal under an executive order Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed last year that allows for electronic notarization during the coronavirus pandemic. Anita Thayer, the WFP's secretary, said she believed the party's authorizations were properly filed. Read the full story in the Times Union.