Hudson Valley News
11:01 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

County Exec Appeals Ruling Over Independence Party Petition

The incumbent Republican in the race for Westchester County executive tried for a write-in bid to force a September primary for the Independence Party line. A party member sued, and now the county executive has appealed the decision. 

Westchester’s Independence Party in June endorsed Democratic New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson for Westchester county executive. Current County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican who had the Independence line in 2009, sought what is called an opportunity to ballot, to try to capture the line in a primary.  Westchester Independence Party member Richard Rhoades challenged Astorino’s petition, with a lawsuit. Rhoades alleged Astorino directed some of his political appointees to have their friends and relatives register with the Independence Party.

Here’s Astorino campaign spokesman Bill O’Reilly.

He adds:

Rhoades says the judge ruled in his favor for the following reason.

O’Reilly says the lawsuit is about Astorino not handing out jobs to Independence Party members after the election.

Rhoades says he brought the suit about one week ago.

Astorino appealed the court ruling, and an appellate court judge began hearing the appeal Wednesday. Here’s O’Reilly.

Astorino has the Republican and Conservative lines; Bramson, the Democratic, Independence, and Working Families lines. Some 12,000 votes were cast on the Independence line in the 2009 election, an amount that could decide a close race. A Bramson campaign spokesman says no Republican has won countywide office without the Independence Party’s support since the Party was formed – in the 1990s.

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