Team Heaney objects to all of Bishop’s 1,897 petition signatures in NY-19 race

Supporters of GOP congressional candidate Andrew Heaney filed paperwork Monday accusing his primary opponent, Bob Bishop, of filing fraudulent, false and invalid designating petitions.

In order to get on the June primary ballot candidates need to file 1,250 valid signatures with the state Board of Elections. Bishop filed 1,897.

The objections against Bishop were filed with the state BOE by Jason Page, Darin Page and Lorrie Morse, from Hyde Park, Rhinebeck and Port Ewen, respectively.

Morse is an event manager for Heaney’s campaign while Darin and Jason Page have both donated to Heaney’s campaign. In the 245-page filing, the three say “each and every signature on each and every page” of the petitions is invalid.

“Each and every signature collected by the following subscribing witnesses are challenged on the basis of permeating fraud, including the falsification of signatures, entry of material false statements in the witness statement, maintaining, entering and  or conspiring to enter a false voter registration, and other fraudulent acts which should invalidate the entire petition,” the filing says.

Bishop, a Delaware County hay executive; Heaney, a Dutchess County heating oil executive; and John Faso, a Columbia County lawyer and former state assemblyman, are all vying for the GOP nomination in June for the 19th Congressional District. The district includes Ulster and Sullivan counties.

In general, challenging petition signatures are par for the course in trying to knock opponents of election ballots, though Bishop has accused Heaney of employing “Gestapo tactics to silence voters” and citing a quote from Heaney in a Poughkeepsie Journal story where he said the objections are just procedural.

Most of the objections are technical in nature, including illegible signatures, not signing in ink or not having page numbers. Others claim that the witnesses made false statements. Heaney’s campaign manager, David O’Connell, has said that while the rules are “rigged by and for insider-lobbyists” they’re following the law.

Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, isn’t running for another term in the district.

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