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Hennessy addresses concerns over county executive race

Democratic candidate Michael Hennessy held a press conference in Utica on Thursday to discuss some concerns with his experiences during his campaign.

Posted: Aug 29, 2019 5:51 PM

UTICA – Democratic candidate Michael Hennessy held a press conference in Utica on Thursday to discuss some concerns with his experiences during his campaign.

In April, Hennessy was removed from the Democratic Party ballot line because the Oneida County Board of Elections deemed some of his petition signatures were invalid. However, a State Supreme Court judge ruled in May that the disputed signatures were actually valid, putting him back on the ballot.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente has appealed that supreme court decision.

Hennessy also questions the appropriateness of Picente’s sister, a county Board of Elections employee, remaining in a room when the validity of petition signatures was being determined. Hennessy says he was kept out of the room during this process.

"She has the right to work there. I have never criticized the fact that she works there and I don't want people to think that today. What I am criticizing, that she didn't walk out of that room and abstain from being part of the process," said Hennessy.

When asked about this, Picente said the Board of Elections would have to address any questions regarding the petition validation process.

However, Picente did comment on his appeal of the judge’s decision regarding the validity of Hennessy’s signatures.

"It's our right to challenge, and we're doing that. And even after the judge ruled in his favor, we still disagree, we have that right so will wait to see what comes out of the court case,” Picente said.

Hennessy also announced that he's on the Libertarian Party line, and claims he will be on the ballot even if he doesn’t retain the Democratic line. He says he'll announce securing another party line next week.

The general election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.

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