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Working Families Party wins court case in Syracuse

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media
The Onondaga County Legislature.

A New York State Supreme Court justice in Syracuse has dismissed a lawsuit that challenged whether local Democratic candidates could also appear on the Working Families Party line on this year’s election ballots.

The suit was filed by eight Onondaga County Republicans hoping to keep or earn county legislature seats. It was one of multiple similar lawsuits filed across the state.

The lawsuit claimed the Working Families Party failed to properly authenticate its nominating petitions for candidates, submitting signatures that were electronically reproduced instead of the original signatures. Justice Scott DelConte sided with the defense, which argued the signatures were valid according to an executive order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Ryan Suser, one of the case’s defendants as well as one of the defense attorneys, said he was happy with the verdict.

"It is a very important statement to make that I have the Working Families Party endorsement because it is so meaningful to me to stand up for working families," said Suser.

Suser said he expected the defendants to prevail.

“We were not surprised, and were delighted to see that the decision came out in our favor,” said Suser. “We continue to collect these independent signatures anyway because we’re having so much fun talking to the voters, so it’s been all good.”

Bridget Kenney from Flip the Leg, a group that promotes Democratic candidates in Onondaga County, said she’s looking forward to bringing the focus back onto what constituents need.

"What they should have been focused on is passing laws to help fund our social services that are severely under-funded and are really needed right now," said Kenney.

Onondaga County Republican Committee Chairwoman Benedicte Doran released a statement saying, “We’re disappointed in the outcome but respect the judge's decision, and we look forward to discussing the issues that are on the voters’ minds as we head into the election.”

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.