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District attorney petition challenge objects to signatures

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CANTON — The challenge filed against Independence Party petitions submitted by St. Lawrence County District Attorney hopeful Mary E. Rain, who is also running on the Republican and Conservative lines, in her bid to unseat Democratic incumbent Nicole M. Duve lists four pages of objections over the validity of signatures.

The objection filed by Anne Monck, Canton, alleges the designating petitions are insufficient, defective and should be voided.

“There are 70 signatures which must be removed for failure to comply with the provisions of the election law,” Ms. Monck wrote in the specification of objections. “After removal of such signatures, the designating petition of Mary E. Rain which only contained 215 signatures in the first place, is left with only 145 signatures, far less than the 163 signatures required to sustain the petition.”

Democratic Election Commissioner Jennie H. Bacon and Republican Election Commissioner Thomas A. Nichols scheduled a hearing at 2 p.m. today.

A decision on the validity of the petition could come Thursday, Mr. Nichols said.

However, Ms. Rain said Tuesday she will ask for an adjournment because she has a federal court obligation in Syracuse today.

“What’s the rush?” she said. “The election’s not until November.”

Ms. Rain said she received verbal notice of the hearing and the specific objections Tuesday so has had little time to research their validity.

Ms. Monck found fault with altered dates and signatures that were initialed by someone other than the signer, indecipherable signatures and with no enrolled Independence Party members at stated addresses, and signatures by people who are not enrolled in the Independence Party.

However, Ms. Rain said she had already found some of Ms. Monck’s objections erroneous, such as whether Independence Party members lived at addresses listed in the petitions.

Ms. Rain said she would prefer to respond with a written answer to Ms. Monck’s objections.

“I just wanted to file a rebuttal,” she said. “I didn’t want a hearing.”

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