CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – There will now be no primary election in the race for Steuben County Coroner after one of the candidate’s petitions was found to have almost 300 invalid signatures, enough to remove him from the ballot.
The Steuben County Board of Elections ruled on April 26 to invalidate candidate Mark Resue’s petition for the position of County Coroner. The other Republican coroner candidate—and current Corning City Police Chief—Jeff Spaulding filed an objection on April 8 to challenge the signatures on Resue’s petition.
Spaulding explained that in order to be on the ballot, each candidate had to collect 1,000 signatures. Resue reportedly turned in 1,254 signatures. However, during the review of his petition, the Board of Elections found 291 signatures that were invalid. This put the number of Resue’s signatures at 963, below the required threshold to be on the ballot.
In the ruling—provided to 18 News by Spaulding—reasons for the invalid signatures included signatures that appeared not to come from registered Republicans, printed signatures, multiple signatures in one box, incorrect labeling municipalities as towns or cities, mislabelling addresses in incorrect municipalities, or finding the same signatures on the same date on Spaulding’s petition, as well.
As a result, Resue will not be on the ballot for coroner, meaning there will be no primary election vote for the coroner position. Spaulding will be the only Republican on the ballot. The police chief also said that he turned in 1,500 signatures on his own petition, all of which reportedly went unchallenged.
In response to the Board’s decision, Resue called out Spaulding’s tactics in his campaign, claiming the police chief used his patrol vehicle for campaign work and took advantage of the “new-enough” law that committee members aren’t aware of. Resue added Spaulding “ruined the integrity” of the coroner’s position and “played dirty with democracy”.
“Thank you to all that supported me and carried my petition during this campaign,” Spaulding said. “I’m glad to see that the system worked and the best, most qualified person will be on the ballot this fall.”
ReSue has reached out to 18 News by sending a statement regarding his name being removed from the ballot.