Candidate off GOP line in Johnstown

JOHNSTOWN – A city of Johnstown councilman-at-large candidate is off the Republican ballot line after his competitor successfully challenged his petitions.

The challenge was among two successful challenges to election petitions in Fulton County.

County Board of Elections officials said challenges were made to petitions filed in July in this busy local election year. Republican Election Commissioner Lee Hollenbeck and Democratic Election Commissioner Lynn Rubscha ruled on the challenges.

Seventeen primaries are scheduled for Sept. 10. Potential independent candidates can file from Aug. 13 through 20. General Election Day is Nov. 5.

In the city of Johnstown, Republican Councilman-at-Large Bryan Marcucci was running as a Conservative in the general election against Republican Christopher Swatt. But Marcucci was successful in his challenge of Swatt’s Republican petitions, which didn’t have enough valid specifics, according to the Board of Elections.

Swatt is now off the ballot for the fall unless he runs as an independent candidate. Swatt could not be reached for comment.

Republican Election Commissioner Lee Hollenbeck said Swatt didn’t have the Sept. 10 primary date written on one of his sheets. He also didn’t initial changes he made to two other pages, Hollenbeck said.

Deputy Election Commissioner Ellie DiScioscia provided the results of the other challenges as follows:

Caroga: Republican Town Clerk Linda Gilbert successfully challenged the Republican petition of challenger Greta Frasier, who is now off the Republican ballot line.

Hollenbeck said Frasier needed 33 signatures. She obtained 35, but three were ruled invalid, he said.

Town of Broadalbin: Two separate Republican and Conservative primaries were set between incumbent Supervisor Joseph DiGiacomo and Thomas Christopher. But Christopher was stripped of his Conservative designation because the state conservative committee did not endorse Christopher. DiGiacomo challenged Christopher’s petitions, but the challenge was deemed a moot point. There still will be a Republican primary in that race.

Also in Broadalbin, a four-way Republican councilman primary is scheduled between Tina Winney, Larry Ruzycky, Drew Thompson and Kimberly Verrego. Winney and Ruzycky also are on the ballot as Conservatives. DiGiacomo challenged Winney’s Conservative petition, which withstood the challenge.

DiGiacomo also challenged Ruzycky’s Conservative petition, but it was ruled valid.

The supervisor was unsuccessful in challenging Joseph McDonald’s Republican petition for Broadalbin assessor. McDonald is unopposed.

Gloversville: Mayor Dayton King faces a Republican primary against Michael Ponticello and James Handy. King and Handy also will face each other in a separate Conservative primary.

Local resident Judy Marcoux challenged King’s Republican and Conservative petitions for invalid specifications. The commissioners ruled both of King’s petitions valid and he remains on the ballot.

Northampton: Incumbent Republican Supervisor Linda Kemper challenged the Republican petition of opponent James Groff, but was unsuccessful. Kemper still faces separate Republican and Conservative primary challenges from Groff.

Michael Anich can be reached at