By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – A court action was filed today on behalf of county Rep. Andrew Marietta, D-Cooperstown/Town of Otsego, seeking to reclaim the “I Love Otsego” independent line on the Nov. 8 ballot from his Republican challenger, Tim Walker.
Marietta’s lawyer, Dennis Laughlin, said the local county judges, Brian Burns and John Lambert, recused themselves, and the case was assigned to state Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey Tait in Binghamton, who will review the papers and set a hearing date.
Because of time-sensitivity, election cases receive priority, Laughlin said, and he expects a hearing soon, so a decision will be reached “in time to prepare the ballots for the November election.”
On Aug. 15, the first day to file independent petitions, Marietta arrived at the county Board of Elections in the afternoon to find Walker had claimed the “I Love Otsego” line in the morning. Marietta had run on that line in 2015, and uses “I Love Otsego” on his website and his Facebook page.
Walker also chose the same ballot icon his opponent has been using.
“It’s like all the issues we’re confronting,” Marietta said today when asked why he is filing the challenge, “even at the national level. We see the same type of divisiveness and pettiness and negativity. Why should that infiltrate our politics?”
When asked about the situation, on Aug. 15, Walker had said, “I don’t believe one person should have the sole claim to loving Otsego.”