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Rozum accuses GOP donors of trying to "game the election"

Ryan Delaney

The Green Party's candidate for central New York's congressional seat is giving away some recent large campaign contributions she received.

Ursula Rozum says the donations came from five wealthy Republican-supporting voters hoping she'll siphon votes from the Democratic candidate in the race.

"It just shows that the rich in this country are really trying to game the electoral process," she said.

Rozum is challenging Republican Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle along with former Democratic Congressman Dan Maffei for the 24th Congressional District. Buerkle and Maffei are polling nearly dead even.

Four members of the same Florida family donated a total of $4,250 to her over a recent weekend, Rozum says, along with a fifth donation for $250 that came in recently.

"Giving to candidates that are polar opposites just shows that there are interests in this country that think they can buy the electoral system," she said at a press conference Wednesday. "So it really underscores the need for electoral reform."

Rozum cut several checks to local charities with the contributions. She gave $750 each to the Dunbar Association, Friends of the Ida Benderson Center and the Workers Center of Central New York. She gave the rest of the money to several national good-campaign advocacy groups.

"This is our way of saying ‘don’t mess with us,’" she said. "And everyone knows these kinds of organizations - community service organizations and organizations working for real changes in our electoral system - are under resourced."

When asked about the donations to Rozum Wednesday morning, Buerkle told WRVO News she's proud of Rozum for being a candidate who stands up for her convictions.

Rozum says she has between $1,000-$2,000 dollars left in her campaign account.