Thursday was the deadline for state and local candidates seeking to run in the Sept. 9 primary to file petitions with the Erie County Board of Elections.
It now appears that in the 141st Assembly District, incumbent Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes will have a challenger in the Democratic primary, with former State Sen. Antoine Thompson announcing he would file petitions Thursday.
“Over the last month, I have gone door-to-door throughout the 141st District, aided by over 100 volunteers, talking to voters and asking for their support,” Thompson said in a statement.
“Those efforts resulted in more than 7,500 voters signing to add my name to the primary ballot and pledging their vote to return me to Albany as their government representative,” he added.
Petitions for Peoples-Stokes were filed Wednesday with the Board of Elections.
Thompson, who recently resigned his post as executive director of the Buffalo Employment & Training Center, served two full terms as the 60th District state senator representing parts of Erie and Niagara counties. He was defeated by Republican Mark J. Grisanti in 2010.
Grisanti, who was re-elected in 2012, faces a primary challenge from Town of Tonawanda attorney Kevin T. Stocker. Both Grisanti and Stocker filed their petitions Wednesday with the Board of Elections.
Both Democratic candidates for the 60th District State Senate seat, Alfred T. Coppola – a former one-term state senator and Buffalo Common Council member – and Buffalo attorney Marc C. Panepinto also filed petitions Wednesday to run in the primary. Timothy D. Gallagher, seeking to run in the Conservative Party primary, filed petitions Tuesday. Grisanti on Monday also filed petitions to run in the Independence Party primary.
In the 63rd State Senate District, Erie County Legislature Minority Leader Betty Jean Grant filed petitions Wednesday to secure her spot in the Democratic primary race. According to a spokesman for incumbent Tim Kennedy, his petitions were filed early Thursday with the Board of Elections.
Democratic Erie County Board of Elections Commissioner Dennis Ward said petitions for the Sept. 9 primary were required to be filed in person by 5 p.m. Thursday – or, if emailed to the Board of Elections, postmarked by 8 p.m.
“As long as they have enough signatures and follow the proper format, we accept them as valid on their face,” Ward said.
As a general rule, candidates for state office must collect signatures from at least 5 percent of the voters from their political party who are registered to vote in the primary.