Livingston County Republicans
County GOP finishes collecting signatures for primary ballot
The Livingston County Republican Committee recently filed 88 petition sheets, each with up to 25 names, with the Board of Elections.
That same number of committee members, 88, representing the majority of the committee, circulated the petitions to get the Republican party member signatures.
Committee members confined their signature gathering to their own election districts, of which there are 61 total in Livignston County. Besides gathering signatures for preferred district attorney candidate Eric Schiener and assembly candidate Richard Burke, the committee members also gathered signatures supporting uncontested state senate candidates Cathy Young or Pat Gallivan, depending on what the senate district was, and for coroner and judicial delegates.
Technically speaking, the committee members are gathering signatures for appearance of their candidate on the Sept. 13 primary election ballot.
“The petition is circulated to put the candidate on the primary ballot, even if there is no competition,” explained County Republican Party Chair Lowell Conrad. The winning slate in the primary is then automatically transferred to the November general election ballot.
Judicial candidates have no primary. They are chosen at a judicial convention for the Seventh District by the elected delegates after the primary election. On the November ballot the uncontested supreme court candidates will be Justice David Michael Barry and Justice Gail Donofrio.
In the case of two contested offices this year — country district attorney and 133rd district state assembly seat — the opposed candidates had to qualify their spot on the primary ballot with a minimum number of signatures.
A minimum of 500 signatures gathered district-wide are required to place an assembly candidate on the primary ballot. Livingston County Committee members have safely secured Burke’s spot with about 1,800 signatures.
For the district attorney candidacy (or any county-level office), a primary ballot appearance is secured with signatures of five percent of the total registered Republicans in the county. With an enrollment of about 17,000, the necessary minimum is about 850 signatures. Here again, the committee gathered well in excess of that number, 1,700 signatures for its preferred candidate, Eric Schiener.
The Livingston committee members worked on gathering signatures for only the candidates who had the county committee endorsement. In the Assembly race, Monroe County endorsed Bill Nojay and Livingston County endorsed Richard Burke.
The Republican Committee in Steuben County is not endorsing a candidate, although individual committee members are gathering signatures for the candidate of their choice.
Conrad explained why it is a good idea to gather a number of signatures well in excess of the minimal requirement: “The participation of the committee people is important,” he said. “The exposure of the candidate to the voter is important — and the large number provides insurance in the event any signatures are eliminated through challenges.”
For other district offices election law specifies a minimum needed signature total: 1,000 for state senate and 1,250 for congress.
Fundraiser tickets on sale
Conrad views committee members’ actively pursuing petition signatures, making telephone calls, and fundraising as “retail door-to-door selling” for the party.
At present, committee members are engaged in selling tickets and program advertisements for the Aug. 17 annual Republican Fundraiser at the Genesee River Reception Center in Mount Morris. Attending will be congressional candidate Chris Collins, senators Young and Gallivan, and supreme court candidates Barry and Donofrio, as well as assembly candidates Burke and Nojay, and district attorney candidates Schiener and Steve Sessler. U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long has been invited.
Conrad targets a sales figure of 900-to-1000 tickets for the fundraiser. He systematically provides town chairman with a list of ticket and advertisement buyers from the past seven years who hopefully will be contacted by committee sellers.
Any buyer of a $50 ticket gets a program listing. Buyers of a $225 one-quarter page ad receive five bonus tickets; half-page buyers for $360 receive 8 bonus tickets, and full page buyers for $720 receive 16 bonus tickets. Phone 243-2665.