UPDATED: Clarkson gains Conservative endorsement, Kotary files petitions on three lines

Bethlehem supervisor candidate hands in petition to primary Kotary, who says he has file twice the number of petitions needed

Bethlehem supervisor candidate John Clarkson has secured the endorsement of the Conservative Party in the upcoming election.

He also will turn down backing from the Working Families Party, which was also set to endorse him. In fact, that organization included him in a recent announcement of its endorsements for the political year.

I regret not being able to accept their designation, because I support their stance on many social issues, such as marriage equality, but I thought the most important local issue is fiscal conservatism, he said.

"It seems to be the line of both parties that they do not want to have the endorsement of the other minor party [with the same candidate]," Clarkson added. "Elections should just be about principles, but they're also about ballot access."

The Conservative Party had previously backed sitting Supervisor Sam Messina, who bowed out of the race in early June.

On Thursday, July 14, Clarkson filed with the Board of Elections about 850 signatures to primary Kyle Kotary on the Democrat line, according to the candidate. Kotary is also endorsed by the Republican party, where it appears he faces no opposition.

When asked if he would run on just the Conservative line should his primary bid fail, Clarkson was noncommittal.

"It's too early to answer that, because this is obviously an unusual year," he said. "Typically, when there's competition in a party primary, both contestants acknowledge that they will support the winner. In this case, since my opponent has also received the designation of the Republican Party executive committee, I don't know what his position will be," Clarkson said.

Things could get even more interesting if Clarkson is successful. That could potentially pit him against a sitting Democratic member of the Town Board running on the Republican and Independence lines.

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