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Oneida Indian Nation behind mystery mailings for Oneida County Sheriff

By CAROLINE GABLE

ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WKTV) With less than a month until Election Day, two candidates are in the spotlight not for the issues, but for the endorsements.

Democrat Robert Maciol is running against Republican David Townsend for Oneida County Sheriff.

Thursday night Townsend was taking up an issue with his competition: mystery mailings endorsing his opponent.

In a statement released Thursday night to WKTV a spokesperson for the Oneida Indian Nation took ownership of the fliers that endorse Maciol over his competition, Townsend.

The Nation says the mailings "Are part of the Nation's effort to educate voters on the race for sheriff."

On their website the nation says Mr. Townsend is unfit to be the Sheriff of Oneida County.

The Nation says they did not notify Maciol of the fliers prior to their mailing, and they don't plan to halt their support of the Democratic candidate any time soon.

But David Townsend says he doesn't believe Robert Maciol was unaware of the mailings prior to their posting because of a personal photograph featured in the mailing.

Townsend says the situation is calling him to question the integrity of his opponent, even calling him a liar.

"You don't have to pay for anything in your campaign but if someone else pays for something you still have to log it and record it on your filing as an in-kind service, nothing is in there about in-kind services, so we question a gentleman who wants to be sheriff and can't even follow the law," said Townsend.

Townsend also says he questions the legality of the mailing because the mailing itself does not disclose that it was paid for by the Oneida Indian Nation.

Robert Maciol says he did not authorize the fliers, and has never asked for an endorsement from the Oneida Indian Nation.

As for a personal picture on the flyer, Maciol says the images were on his website and anyone has access to them.

The democratic candidate says he can't control what other people do and now he just wants to talk about the issues.

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