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UPDATE: Cunningham's WFP objection thrown out

"We filed a lawsuit because I think there's a problem with the petitions filed with the board of elections," Walsh said. "They had people collecting [signatures] as a notary and no oaths were administered."

Walsh said the state's election laws were broken in collecting Independence Party signatures for Cunningham's slate.

"There are certain procedures involved in collecting signatures according to New York State Election Law and my lawsuit is making the allegation that they were not followed," he said. "The judge is going to want to know about what happened."

Walsh added the lawsuit was to "ensure the integrity of the process."

Working Families Party of the Capital District spokeswoman Karen Scharff told The Spotlight last week that her party thought Messina was the better supervisor candidate and that they never gave Cunningham their support partly because he never interviewed for it.

She said Cunningham was disrespectful to the party and was trying to use the Working Families Party for another ballot line, rather than because he believed its political philosophy.

Scharff likened it to the relationship the town's Democrats have with the county's Independence Party.

"The Democrats obviously have some sort of deal with the Independence Party in the town of Bethlehem," said Scharff.

However, the Working Families Party has also endorsed Bethlehem Independence Party Chairman Mark Jordan for Town Board along with Messina for supervisor. Messina carried the petitions for both of them, saying Jordan "didn't collect a single signature."

Jordan on the other hand voted, along with the rest of the Albany County Independence Party executive committee including Assemblyman Tim Gordon and Albany County Chairman Paul Caputo, to unanimously endorse Cunningham over their own party member for supervisor.

Jordan said he understands Scharff's position, but objected to her characterization of his own party.

"There's no deal in the Town Board races," he said. "The Republicans never came to the Independence Party to interview, we only had Democrats and our own members to choose from."

Republican Highway Superintendent Gregg Sagendorph did interview and receive the Independence Party endorsement for his re-election bid, which he has in the past, but is running unopposed.

For more on this breaking story, return to www.spotlightnews.com, or read the Wednesday, Aug. 5, print edition of The Spotlight

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