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Candidate’s past comes to light

GOP finds evidence King resides in Coxsackie and has criminal record

— King provided to The Spotlight a notarized statement made in 2005 of his accounting of events surrounding his arrest and conviction, in which he argues he deserves a pardon. He also summarizes his history after the conviction, and describes becoming involved in local politics in Coxsackie.

“One of the few refuges from the obstacle to employment of a felony conviction is an elected official…” he wrote. “I have become involved in local politics because one of our two local town justices in the Town of Coxsackie is an incompetent party hack. … However, our new town supervisor is a tyrannical spendthrift and bully, so my coalition may want to use me as a candidate to defeat the supervisor before he has a chance to solidify his position through patronage.”

He also describes beginning to attend meetings in Bethlehem, his childhood home, and mentioned the “euphoria of being mobbed like a rock star after public hearings” as the reward to speaking out against commercial developments there.

News of the conviction was read to members of the Bethlehem Republican Committee at its endorsement meeting. King claims that before the meeting got under way, McKim approached him with the documents and told him to drop out of the race to keep the matter from going public.

“This is a big deal, because it’s basically blackmail,” King said. “This was an attempt to deny voters a choice.”

McKim recalled a different accounting of events. He said he learned of King’s criminal conviction as part of checking up on him as a potential candidate, and approached King at the following committee meeting merely to advise him the matter would likely become part of any political campaign. He denied having threatened King with the information.

“That was not an insinuation that I made in any way,” McKim said. “That is extortion, and as an attorney I would never do that.”

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