Kicinski off Congressional race ballot after signatures are invalidated

By Joleen Ferris

(WKTV) - The Republican primary for Congress in the 22nd district has just gone from a three-way race to a two-way race.

The New York State Board of Elections has invalidated 200 of candidate Michael Kicinski's 1,308 signatures, leaving him with 1,108; fewer than the 1,250 required.  One of the prevailing reasons for the invalidations: The voters weren't registered to the proper party.

"Well, it's very clear the board of elections ignored election law,"  says Kicinski, regarding what he says is the board's failure to properly advise him of the objections.

"The Board of Elections jumped over a requirement of the objector and went ahead and considered the specifications of objections illegally," says Kicinski.

Kicinski provided a copy of an envelope that was addressed to Michael Kicinski Jr.  He says the envelope did indeed go to his home, but that he is Michael Kicinski Sr.  The former candidate says he gave the envelope to the postmaster, telling them that it was addressed to his son, who does not live in his home.  He said the name on the return address was not that of the objector to his petitions -- Don Jeror, but rather, a man named Walsh. Walsh is the name of candidate Claudia Tenney's attorney.

"He has until Monday to object. We'll just wait to see. I support Mike and his effort.  I give him a lot of credit for his effort. It was tough to get signatures this year with the weather," says Tenney.

Incumbent Rep. Richard Hanna, says he is unfazed by the landscape of the ballot.

"We're comfortable going forward just the way we are. Three people or two people, that's fine by me," said Hanna.

The primary is June 24.  In the absence of any Democrat or third-party candidates, the Republican primary could possibly decide the race.

Kicinski has until the close of business Monday to challenge the removal of his signatures in court, but says that's a costly endeavor and that he was not given the proper information to do so. He says he and his advisers are considering the option.


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