Congressional petitions challenged; need for primary hangs in balance

Objections have been filed to petitions filed by three congressional candidates in the 22nd District. All of them want to challenge incumbent first-term Rep. Richard L. Hanna.

Michael J. Kicinski is being opposed in his bid to run on the Republican ballot. The objection was filed with the state Board of Elections by Oneida County Republican Chairman George Mitchell.

Also filing for the GOP line on the ballot was Hanna, who is the choice of the Oneida County Republican Committee.

M. Julie Miller’s petition for the Conservative endorsement is being challenged too. The objection was submitted by Ronald Stewart.

Hanna is seeking the Conservative line on the ballot as well.

Should the objections against the petitions filed by Kicinski or Miller be upheld by the state elections office, Hanna would be spared a primary June 26.

Additionally, Dan Lamb’s petition for the Working Families’ designation is being challenged. Wayne I. Brooks filed the objection. No one else sought this line on the ballot.

Lamb was the only candidate to file for the Democratic endorsement.

Mitchell, Stewart and Brooks have until Wednesday to file specifics to support their objections. All of the objections filed so far only signaled an intention to more substantively contest the signatures in the future — as is the process. Petitions can be challenged on the grounds they do not meet standards, typically whether there’s enough valid signatures.

Candidates for Congress in New York had to turn in signatures to get onto the ballot by April 16, setting the stage for rival candidates to object and contend that not enough valid signatures were gathered to earn ballot access.

"I challenge Mr. Hanna to publicly denounce this objection to our petitions and tell his supporters to withdraw any objections to the efforts for a primary election," said Kicinski in a statement. I challenge Mr. Hanna and his supporters to take the debate of the issues public and let the voters decide," Kicinski said in a statement.

Beginning with the June federal primary, the state will be reapportioned into 27 congressional districts. There are currently 29 districts in New York. The state lost two seats as a result of the 2010 Census.