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Judge rules Ritchie can appear on Taxpayers Party ballot line


Republican Patricia A. Ritchie, who is running for the state Senate's 48th District seat, now can appear on a third party line after a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by opponent Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine on Wednesday.

Sen. Aubertine's campaign filed a state Supreme Court lawsuit Sept. 15 in Albany to challenge about 2,000 "questionable signatures" for the Taxpayers Party line.

"Senator Aubertine and his Albany lawyers tried every trick to deny independent voters their choice on November 2nd, including a last-ditch appeal to the judge that might have delayed next week's certification of the ballot, with the potential for chaos at the polls, and additional, unnecessary cost to taxpayers," Lisa A. Smithers, Mrs. Ritchie's campaign manager, said in a news release.

Mr. Aubertine's campaign will not appeal the decision.

"The process has been carried out to completion," said Andrew G. Mangione, the senator's spokesman. "The court has made its decision."

Mrs. Ritchie filed 4,479 signatures to appear on Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino's independent Taxpayers line. A state elections official tossed 1,148, leaving her with 3,331, or 331 more than she needed to have a valid petition.

Mrs. Ritchie, Heuvelton, now will appear on the Republican, Conservative and Taxpayers lines. Sen. Aubertine will appear on the Democratic and Independence parties' lines.

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