Ballot line battle null

R'dam Dems drop bid for Lower Tax Now! ballot line

— If Rotterdam Democrats can lower taxes, they won’t have the ballot line touting their intentions.

Republican and Democratic candidates reached an agreement before court proceedings set for Sept. 28 to have Democratic candidates drop the Lower Taxes Now! designation and replace it with “Re-unite Rotterdam.”

But it’s not certain either will actually be on the ballot, because according to state election law, if a candidate already appears on two of the six “official” party lines then they’re not allowed to appear on an independent nominating line.

“There was never going to be a separate line for Lower Taxes Now!,” Brian Quail, chair of the Schenectady County Democratic Elections Commissioner. “They can have a symbol appear next to their name on one of the party lines.”

The Democratic candidates for Town Board and supervisor will relinquish the LTN! symbol, but the county Democrat candidates representing Rotterdam will keep it. The town Democrats will now hold the symbol for the changed party name of “Re-Unite Rotterdam” instead of the LTN! symbol.

Democrat incumbent County Legislators Tony Jasenski and Angelo Santabarbara along with Democratic candidate for Rotterdam town clerk Diane Marco will have a symbol representing the LTN! on the ballot.

The Republican No New Tax Party candidates had filed a lawsuit against their Democrat challengers’ petitions for the LTN! Party line. Court papers filed claimed the Democrat candidates were trying to deceive voters and confuse NNTP supporters with a similar ballot line.

A Schenectady County Board of Elections hearing on Sept. 17 unanimously ruled the ballot line was valid. NNTP members weren’t satisfied with the ruling and pushed the case further, but it was settled out of court.

Republican candidate for supervisor Brian McGarry, also founder of the NNTP, said town and county Democrats were up to their usual games.

“It is typical of Democrats to run to the right just prior to an election and pretend they are conservative Republicans in ideology and immediately get back into office and assume their liberal ways,” McGarry said. “They are trying to brand themselves in the cloak of fiscal conservatives when their governing history has been anything but.”

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