Candidate faces write-in primary challenge
By Jeff Simms
Beacon’s 39 registered Green Party voters will be able to vote in the June 25 primary for mayor: the ballot will include the name of Terry Hockler, the candidate endorsed by the Green Party, and a line for a write-in.
The primary is being held because the Democratic candidate for mayor, Lee Kyriacou, filed what is known as an “opportunity to ballot” petition for the Green Party line. If more registered Green voters write in his name (or that of someone else) than vote for Hockler, his or her name will appear on the Green Party line on the November ballot.
New York election law allows candidates to appear on multiple party lines on the November ballot, so candidates sometimes fight to get their name to appear as many times as possible, believing it will lead to more votes.
Kyriacou, a longtime City Council member, will appear on the Democratic ballot line. Randy Casale, who is running for a third term as mayor, will appear on the Independence and Republican lines.
In a letter to The Current, Barbara Kidney, a Newburgh resident who is chair of the Hudson Valley Green Party, accused Kyriacou of attempting to hijack her party’s line in the fall vote.
“The official Green Party candidate for mayor is lifelong Beacon resident Terry Hockler, who months ago filed to change her party registration to Green,” Kidney wrote. “Her platform includes supporting safe green energy, cultural and environmental heritage, local business and affordable housing in Beacon.”
In an email, Kyriacou responded, saying that this year, “the Green Party changed a long-standing policy, without announcement, and endorsed a non-Green registered voter. Beacon Democrats asked to interview for the Green endorsement and never received a response. So, as usual, we filed an opportunity to ballot petition to give voters a choice. As committed environmentalists, Beacon Democrats are comfortable with voter choice.”
Petitions were also filed for an opportunity to ballot for the Green Party line in each of Beacon’s four wards. Since there are no Green candidates for council member seats, the primary ballot will include only a line for a write-in candidate.
The same situation occurred for the Independence Party line for the Dutchess County Legislature seat held by Democrat Nick Page, whose 18th district includes parts of Beacon and Fishkill. The 358 registered Independence Party voters in the district will have a chance to write in a candidate for the November ballot. (There was no endorsed Independence Party candidate.) Page will appear on the Democratic line and Beacon resident Michael Justice has the Republican line.