Hennessy Picks Up 2 More Party Endorsements in County Exec. Race; Plans Suit Over BOE Process
Oneida County Executive candidate Michael Hennessy has two more party endorsements. Meanwhile, he says he's still fighting a lawsuit over the Democratic line, and is planning his own suit regarding how the local board of elections handled the process when it came to approving petitions for that line.
Hennessy currently has the Democratic party line - after a state Supreme Court judge ruled in May to restore nearly 30 Democratic petition signatures that were disqualified by the Oneida County Board of Elections. The campaign of Republican Anthony Picente - the incumbent - has appealed that decision, a case that will be heard next week.
On Thursday, Hennessy said he'd secured the endorsement of the Libertarian party, and said he'd be publicly announcing another party endorsement in the near future.
Regarding his lawsuit, the former Oneida County Legislators and city of Sherrill commissioner said he was told by the Board of Elections that he was not allowed to be present while his petitions were be being evaluated - during the initial challenge to his Democratic party petitions. But, says he has since learned they he could have.
''[I'm suing] over the Board of Elections process, I'm also suing over the fact that I was not allowed in the room [while petitions were being challenged]. Mr. Picente didn't need anyone in that room, he had his sister in that room,'' Hennessy said.
Picente's sister, Cathy Dumka, is a longtime employee at the Oneida County Board of Elections and is currently the Republican Deputy Commissioner.
The BOE's Democratic Commissioner, Carolann Cardone, was not immediately available for comment Thursday afternoon. (CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES)
What lines Hennessy will appear on in November remains unclear due to the pending appeal of the ruling the validated his signatures for the Democratic line, and party line that Hennessy said would be announced in the coming days.
Picente won a GOP primary against Dave Gordon in June, and also has the Conservative and Independence lines.