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The Court of Appeals today refused to hear the appeal of Erie County Republicans challenging the candidacies of several non-Democrats seeking to run this year on the Democratic line.

The end result is that William C. Conrad III will run against Republican incumbent Kevin R. Hardwick in District 4 of the County Legislature, and Alan K. Getter will challenge Republican incumbent Edward A. Rath III in District 6. The case also involved 16 candidates on the town level.

Republicans claimed Democrats had failed to postmark their authorizations allowing candidates registered with another party to run on their line by the July 15 deadline, while Democrats submitted a Postal Service affidavit pointing to post office error as the reason.

The Appellate Division later rejected the GOP appeal, and the state’s high court announced today it would not hear an appeal to the original ruling of State Supreme Court Justice Henry J. Nowak. He ruled that a “timely mailing can be demonstrated absent a timely postmark.”

Jeremy Zellner, chairman of the county Democratic committee, said, “Just like Republicans in Washington who have shut down our government, Kevin Hardwick and the Erie County Republicans are trying to shut down the electoral process. If Republicans are confident of the soundness of their ideas and solutions, they should make their appeal directly to the electorate. Instead, they have attempted to shrink the voting pool and block their opponents in court.

“Today’s decision is not just a victory for the Democratic Party or our candidates, but for the voters of Erie County. The Democratic Party believes that voters deserve a choice at the ballot box and we are committed to preserving the public’s right to fair and open elections.”