Congressional Candidates Hurry To Meet Petition Deadline

Congressional Candidates Hurry To Meet Petition Deadline

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Everyone running for Congress is focused on the Thursday deadline to get their petitions to the state Board of Elections.  On the Democratic side, it's possible seven people could end up on a primary ballot.

On Twitter, Democratic Congressional hopeful Katie Wilson showed supporters she's getting petitions ready to file. Emily Martz posed with her clipboard. Tedra Cobb is on a 12 county district tour before she hands in her signatures.    

All the candidates running for Congress need 1,250 signatures to get on the ballot. But in reality, they want more - a lot more - maybe double or triple that number. And here's why:

"When you see the candidates who come in with, say, 1,500 or 1,300, their opponents are going to smell blood in the water," said Joe Burns, a Republican lawyer who's worked for the state Board of Elections and now represents candidates running for office.

He says it's all a numbers game. Once the candidate's petitions are handed in, competitors can file objections to invalidate signatures, block candidates from appearing on the ballot, and in this case thin the large pool of challengers looking to take on incumbent Elise Stefanik.

But the window to start the objection process is short a matter of days. So, Burns says a good strategy is file as early as you can.

"Get your petitions in the door, filed. Get the clock running on objections against you while your opponents are still out scrambling for signatures," said Burns.

7 News has reached out to the Democrats running for Congress. All that we've spoken with say they're confident they have enough signatures to appear on the ballot. The primary is set for June 26.

So now it's time to file. All Democrats we spoke with plan on submitting their paperwork by the Thursday deadline.

On the Republican side, Russ Finley is challenging Stefanik. He tells us he plans to have his petitions filed by Thursday as well.

Stefanik announced Monday that her campaign filed more than 8,500 signatures to qualify for the Republican, Conservative, Independence, and Reform Party ballot lines this November.

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