John S. Humphrey, a Republican running for the 116th Assembly District, said Monday that he turned in more than 900 signatures from members of his party to gain access to the ballot in the race.
Mr. Humphrey, who could not be reached last week because he was at his camp without cellphone service, said he was the first person to file ballot petitions in the state. He said he filed his petitions last Monday in Albany. Ballot petitions for state and local races were due Thursday.
Mr. Humphrey, who lives in Brownville, will face John L. Byrne III, a Cape Vincent town councilman, in a Republican primary in September.
Mr. Byrne announced last week that he turned in 1,208 Republican, 138 Conservative and 274 Independence Party signatures.
The winner of that contest will move on to face Conservative Russell J. Finley, Lisbon, and incumbent Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa, in the November general election.
Mr. Humphrey said he was optimistic about his chances.
“I have my own tactical plan. I’m not the run of the mill or the usual candidate. I’m certainly not the establishment candidate. I think that’s because I’m not very well manipulated into doing what someone else wants me to do,” Mr. Humphrey said.
To be listed on the ballot, individuals running for Assembly are required to submit at least 500 signatures on the Republican and Democratic lines. For minor party lines, signatures equaling 5 percent of the active voters in the district the person is running to represent are required.
Mr. Humphrey said he gathered just under 400 of the signatures himself by visiting voters door to door. He did not submit petitions for any minor party lines.
“I met a lot of interesting people. They voiced their concerns, so I got a good feel for the pulse of the area, what people are thinking about,” Mr. Humphrey said.
While gathering petitions, Mr. Humphrey said that voters seemed concerned about taxes, the Common Core and the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 — a piece of gun control legislation signed into law by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo that has proved unpopular in the north country.
Mr. Humphrey also said that voters were skeptical of the tax-free economic development zones proposed by the governor. Mr. Humphrey said people told him they felt established businesses should be the first to receive any tax breaks.
UPDATE: In a statement released late Monday night, Mr. Humphrey revised his original number of approximately 970 signatures to 922 signatures and said that he gathered just under 400 of those signatures himself. Mr. Humphrey originally said in a phone interview Monday that he gathered more than 500 signatures himself.