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Hatch Act keeping Viola-Straight off Knox ballot

Jun 03, 2021 11:23 am

Noah Zweifel reports in the Altamont Enterprise that Michelle Viola-Straight is the latest Albany County town supervisor candidate withdrawing from an election because of the federal Hatch Act. Viola-Straight was going to run for Knox Town Supervisor on the Conservative line, and perhaps other lines, and Berne Supervisor Sean Lyons did not seek re-election because of the Hatch Act. That is a federal law passed in 1939 that “limits certain political activities of federal employees, as well as some state, D.C., and local government employees who work in connection with federally funded programs.” Anyone paid by the federal government can't run for local office to minimize opportunities for corruption, coercion, and other improprieties. Viola-Straight works as director of community relations with the Veterans and Community Housing Coalition. In Knox, Vasilios Lefkaditis is not seeking re-election as supervisor. Russell Pokorny is running for the second time on the Demcoratic line, as he narrowly lost to Lefkaditis in 2019. Pokorny owns the Octagon Barn, an events venue that hosts a variety of programs, with his wife Amy. Read more about this story in the Altamont Enterprise.