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Tonko keeps Independence line

Court rules against Dieterich’s bid to invalidate signatures

— “I see no factual basis to support fraud in any event here,” Kramer said in his ruling.

Kramer said on Thursday, May 31, before reaching his decision, there was “substantial compliance” with the law. Despite a few signatures gathered that were “somewhat questionable,” there wasn’t enough to invalidate Tonko’s petition and fall below the required signature threshold, he said.

“As far as I’m concerned, you have failed to meet your burden of proof here, and the petition that you brought to invalidate the signatures is hereby denied,” Kramer said.

Dieterich is still hopeful Independence Party votes will support him at the polls.

“Bob Dieterich’s message of sound fiscal policy and balanced budgets will resonate with Independence Party voters and ultimately it’s their determination at the ballot box that will matter in November,” Kenneally said in an email.

Clinton Britt, spokesman for Tonko, said the lawsuit was an “unfortunate distraction” from the issues. He previously said it appears “resoundingly clear” that Independence Party voters support Tonko.

The newly redrawn 20th Congressional District includes Albany and Schenectady counties and portions of Montgomery, Saratoga and Rensselaer counties.

In Schenectady and Albany County, there were more than 15,500 enrolled Independence Party voters as of April 1, according to data from the state Board of Elections. Out of that total, there were 13,511 active voters, or around 87 percent. There are a total of 293,198 registered voters within those two counties, where enrolled Independence Party voters account for 5 percent of the voter pool.

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