Auburn Pub: Antonacci keeps Upstate Jobs ballot line in NY Senate race

By Robert Harding |

Bob Antonacci will appear on an independent ballot line in the 50th Senate District race after petitions he filed last month survived a challenge from a central New York Democrat.

The state Board of Elections determined Wednesday that Antonacci, a Republican, has enough valid signatures to run on the Upstate Jobs Party line. The party doesn’t have automatic ballot access in New York, so he needed to collect at least 3,000 valid signatures to run on the line.

Antonacci submitted 3,692 signatures, according to the elections board. A review conducted by a bipartisan team at the agency found 662 signatures were invalid. That left him with 3,030 valid signatures — slightly more than the minimum needed to qualify for the ballot.

 “Despite the efforts of (Democratic candidate) John Mannion and his New York City allies, the state Board of Elections has ruled that signatures Bob filed to run on the ‘Upstate Jobs’ line are valid,” said Scott Reif, a spokesman for Senate Republicans. “Therefore, he will officially be the ‘Upstate Jobs’ candidate for state Senate. We will have more to say next week.”

Diane Dwire, a member of the Onondaga County Democratic Committee and former state Assembly candidate, objected to Antonacci’s petitions. She hasn’t said whether she will pursue legal action in a last-ditch attempt to have more signatures thrown out.

Antonacci, who has served as Onondaga County comptroller since 2008, filed petitions in August to run on the Upstate Jobs line. The party was created two years ago by Martin Babinec, a businessman who unsuccessfully ran for the 22nd Congressional District seat.

In a statement last month, Antonacci said he wanted to run on the Upstate Jobs line because New York City “has gotten enough attention and enough resources from the politicians in Albany.”

Antonacci is running to succeed state Sen. John DeFrancisco, a Republican who is retiring after more than 25 years in office. It will be the first time since 1992 that the Syracuse-area state Senate is open.

The Democratic candidate in the race is John Mannion, an Advanced Placement biology teacher at West Genesee High School in Camillus. Mannion is running on the Democratic, Women’s Equality and Working Families lines.

Antonacci has the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Upstate Jobs party lines.

The 50th Senate District consists of several Onondaga County towns and a portion of Syracuse. Most of Auburn and the towns of Brutus, Cato, Ira and Sennett in Cayuga County are also in the district.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.