Russ Finley of Lisbon, Conservative Party candidate in the 116th Assembly District race, is taking steps to allow people to write in his name on the ballot in a Republican primary in September.
Finley announced Thursday he has filed an opportunity to ballot petition for the Republican line after GOP party leaders refused to let him run as a Republican with their blessing.
Finley is running for the seat now held by Addie Russell, a Democrat from Theresa, who is herself running again.
Republican businessman and Cape Vincent town board member John Byrne has announced he is also running, as has John Humphrey, a Navy veteran from Cape Vincent now running a soybean farm and horse operation in the town of Brownville.
Finley said that some friends “and my two 80 year old aunts” took 19 days to get enough Republican party members to sign his petition to present to elections officials.
At the same time, he said, he and other solicited enough Conservative Party petition signers to get him on that ballot line.
The opportunity to ballot petition. if successful, allows Republican Party members to write in Finley’s name in a GOP primary even though Finley is a registered Conservative.
Finley said in his statement that he was rebuffed by the GOP in St. Lawrence County after other party members spoke with him about running.
“I was approached by several members of the Republican Party to be interviewed about my candidacy. A week later, I received an email from St. Lawrence County Republican Chairman not only telling me that I could not attend their meeting, but if I did I would be arrested! It is this type of threats, intimidation, and bullying that has not only stopped good people from running for office, but has dropped our numbers of people who actually vote to roughly 30 percent.”