Election Commissioners Detail Process
COOPERSTOWN – There are still a number of moving parts in the electoral process before voters decide who will be the next county sheriff, incumbent Richard J. Devlin Jr. or Bob Fernandez, the retired state trooper challenging him.
The county Board of Elections will convene a hearing this coming Tuesday, Aug. 7, to consider a challenge to Fernandez’s petitions to claim the Democratic line on the Tuesday, Nov. 6, general election ballot, according to Commissioners Lori Lehenbauer, the Republican, and the Democratic one, Mike Henrici.
This past Tuesday, July 31, the Board of Elections also convened a hearing, and denied a challenge to Fernandez’s petitions for a line on the Republican primary ballot in the race for county sheriff.
The sheriff’s primary is Thursday, Sept. 13 – not the Tuesday, since that is the anniversary of 911.
If Fernandez wins the Republican primary, he will have defeated Devlin, unless the incumbent passes an independent petition to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot, or launches a write-in campaign.
If the commissioners accept Fernandez’s petitions this coming Tuesday, he would still be able to challenge Devlin Nov. 6 as a Democrat even if he were to lose the Republican Sept. 13 primary.
If the commissioners throw out Fernandez’s Democratic petitions, he still may beat Devlin Sept. 13 Republican primary, or if he loses can still circulate independent petitions or mount a write-in to challenge Devlin on Nov. 6.
Catherine Brennan of Cooperstown brought the Democratic challenge. Kathleen Zeh of Oneonta brought the Republican challenge, Lebenhauer said.