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Southworth's complaint states that, in the mailer, Hynes violated the principle of fair debate, engaged in unfair and misleading character attacks, and printed statements that are untruthful and unfair, among other specifics.

Hynes said Thursday she wasn't surprised by the turn of events, given the proximity to next week's election day.

"They're desperate; they need to get some mileage out of this," said Hynes. "She's out for damage. Her campaign supporters have been really nasty. I have run a much cleaner campaign."

The highly public, contentious race has included dozens of letters to the editors of local newspapers and statements read at council meetings, many of them asking Hynes to defend her stance on banning Wal-Mart from construction in the town. Hynes has said repeatedly she was representing town residents who wanted to shut out big-box development, and that her vote against Wal-Mart was made to preserve the small-town character of Ballston.

Open government and public access to information has also become a campaign issue.

The current town board recently came under fire for so-called secret meetings at the Town Hall, an allegation shot down by Saratoga County Supreme Court Judge Frank Williams. Williams ruled the two meetings did not breech the Open Meetings Law requiring notifying the public in advance, because the meetings were a political caucus.

If there is one point of agreement among the candidates, it is that the campaigning has become personal, muddying the waters of current town issues.

"I did not want to go to this level of filing a complaint, but it's a matter of integrity," said Southworth. "I'm not willing to sell my soul, and I've made it very clear."

"I will not go in and file a counter complaint to (Southworth's)" said Hynes. "My record stands clear, and the proof is in what I've done on town council."

The fair practices hearing will be held Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the Red Room of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School on Lakehill Road.

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