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Stefanik challenges Republican opponent Doheny’s ballot petitions

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WATERTOWN — The legal battle for ballot lines in the race for New York’s 21st Congressional District has begun in earnest.

Republican Elise M. Stefanik, the Willsboro businesswoman and former White House policy adviser, issued a statement Tuesday attacking her primary opponent Matthew A. Doheny for submitting what her campaign called “potentially fraudulent” submissions for the Conservative and Independence lines.

“Unfortunately, after reviewing the petitions submitted and notarized by the Doheny campaign for the Independence and Conservative Party Lines, it became very clear that the Doheny campaign was more worried about inflating numbers and not about following the legal petitioning process,” James Walsh, Ms. Stefanik’s campaign attorney, said in an email statement.

Mr. Walsh said Ms. Stefanik’s campaign has filed objections to Mr. Doheny’s Conservative and Independence Party petitions.

Mr. Doheny responded by defending his campaign’s petitions and accusing Ms. Stefanik of playing political games.

“The snow is finally gone but we still have time for reindeer games,” David M. Catalfamo, a spokesman for Mr. Doheny, said in a news release. “The only fraudulent games played with this important process were by the Stefanik campaign when they knowingly signed the cover sheet of Independence petitions legally attesting that she submitted the required number of signatures to qualify for the ballot. The Stefanik petitions fell nearly 1000 signatures short of the number required by law. We are confident that our petitions will withstand any legal challenge and Matt will be the Independence Party nominee.”

Mr. Doheny has received the endorsement of the state Independence Party while Ms. Stefanik was endorsed by the state Conservative Party.

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