Morin and Harder to represent party on ballot
BETHLEHEM — A state Appellate Court’s rejection of an appeal by the Bethlehem Democratic Committee means two mavericks, highway department employee Dan Morin and retiree George Harder, will run as Democrats in the November election rather than the committee’s choices.
The ruling, released Thursday, also means committee-endorsed candidates won’t be in the Sept. 12 primary.
The committee had endorsed Councilman Giles Wagoner for highway supervisor and attorney Dan Coffey for council. But former committee member Jim Kelly successfully sued on behalf of Morin and Harder to have the committee’s picks removed.
Kelly argued the committee incorrectly completed a notarized one-page form required to put Wagoner and Coffey in the primary and on the ballot. Three witnesses names were printed on three blank lines rather than signed on the page’s affidavit portion.
The committee argued it followed the spirit of the law since the witnesses’ signatures were on the form above the affidavit. The court rejected that view, saying printed names “were not
the equivalent of signatures establishing that they were attesting to the truth …”
Kelly said those rules may seem inflexible, “they are rigid because what they protect, access to the ballot.
Coffey, in an email, noted he and Wagoner will be on the Working Families party line: “I will continue to run hard … going door-to-door to meet residents and learn about what issues concern them most. I am confident the voters in November will support the best candidates, regardless of what lines the names appear on.”