Working Families candidates challenged in Columbia County Court
Aliya Schneider is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Ghent resident Christopher Cornell and Hudson 2nd Ward Supervisor Abdus Miah have challenged the local Working Families Party candidates in Columbia County Court. Both men are represented by John Ciampoli [cham-POLE-ee], of counsel with Messina, Perillo and Hill, of Sayville, Suffolk County. They claim official party signatures on the certificate of authorization for Working Families candidates were clipped from other documents and are therefore not genuine signatures. Ciampoli filed a petition against Ghent town board candidates Mallory Mort, Laurie Johnson and Carl Quinn, and Hudson 2nd Ward Alderwoman Tiffany Garriga. Garriga is looking to unseat Miah as 2nd Ward Supervisor. There is no indication that Cornell is running for office, Columbia County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner Kenneth Dow said. Dow called the case total nonsense because a signature, by law, can be presented in a number of ways. “There is a lot of stuff that is in the law that indicates this is perfectly permissible so that’s why I think this is really nonsense,” he said. There is a statewide, coordinated attempt by the Republican Party to knock people off the Working Families Party line, and information has been fabricated by people willfully ignoring the law, Dow said. Ciampoli argues that an original document with original signatures must be filed with the county Board of Elections, and Working Families failed to do so. The focus on candidates Mort, Johnson, Quinn, and Garriga, are based on where petitioners Cornell and Miah can vote, Dow said. Miah did not challenge any Hudson candidates on the ballot other than Garriga. However, the outcome of the case would impact if the almost 30 Working Families Party candidates can be listed on the party’s ballot line because they are all on the same disputed certificate of authorization, Dow said. Miah said this week he challenged the Board of Elections specifically against Garriga. Miah said he has not yet received a decision from the board and only took action through the Board of Elections, not in court. Miah denied any connection to Cornell. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.