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Despite objections, Barber to challenge McGuire in primary

By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — August 6, 2010 — Apparently there will be a Conservative primary for Sullivan County Court Judge after all.
On Friday, Sullivan County Board of Elections Commissioners Faith Kaplan and Rodney Gaebel ruled – sometimes together, more often disagreeing – on Corinne McGuire’s objections to judge candidate Cindy Barber’s petitions to be on the Conservative line.
McGuire’s husband, Republican Michael McGuire, had already gotten the local Conservative Party’s endorsement in June, but unique to judicial races, Barber, the Democratic candidate, was able to force a primary for the Conservative line.
She garnered enough signatures from registered Conservatives to do so, but McGuire’s campaign team hired a private investigator who reported several alleged improprieties.
As a result, Corinne McGuire filed 39 objections to Barber’s petitions, many having to do with how Barber and her team obtained and documented the signatures.
But Kaplan, the Democratic commissioner, and Gaebel, the Republican commissioner, could only agree on 13 of the 39 objections. On nine of those 13 they rejected McGuire’s objections, but the commissioners concurred that four signatures were invalid.
The rest were overruled by Kaplan and sustained by Gaebel. Such a split vote, according to election law, means the Conservative primary can proceed as scheduled on September 14.
Corinne McGuire said the McGuire team won’t be pursuing court action (and it may be too late to mount a court challenge anyway, according to Kaplan).
“Rather than being distracted by a court case that has a 50-50 chance, we decided to throw our efforts into the primary,” McGuire explained.
Though upset with the allegations and what she felt were intimidating door-to-door visits by the investigator, Barber was gratified by the outcome.
Conservatives, she said, “now have the right to make a choice. ... That’s why these voters signed my petition. Now we go forward.”

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