The supervisor said he is appealing "directly to the people" of the Working Families Party, which he said has a political philosophy more in line with his own than that of Messina who has the backing of Republicans and Conservatives.
"I am seeking the support of the Working Families Party. The party leadership is not where that determination is made," Cunningham said. "That authority lies with the party members, first through the petition process and later through a vote on primary day."
Karen Scharff, spokeswoman for the Working Families Party of the Capital District, said Cunningham never interviewed with her party and they believe Messina is the better supervisor candidate because of his calls for more open government, which has become an contentious issue in both campaigns.
"If Jack Cunningham had wanted our endorsement he could have talked with us. Now all of a sudden because Sam has the line he wants our support," Scharff told The Spotlight. "We choose candidates to allow voters to have a choice and they're attempting to take away that choice through subterfuge."
Cunningham said he thinks an opportunity to ballot will only serve to open up the process and questioned the petition objection from a Working Families Party member.
"Unlike my opponent, I did not file objections to attempt to prevent the party members from having the opportunity to vote," he said.
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