Mayor John Romano and Trustee Ron Henry/Ballston Journal

Republicans Cry Foul Over LWV Candidate Forum

BALLSTON SPA — The League of Women Voters of Saratoga County (LWV) has called off the candidate forum for Ballston Spa Village Elections  scheduled for Thursday, Mar. 16 at the Malta Ave Elementary School.

In a press release from the LWV, the groups says they were “forced to cancel” the event due to “absence of a reply from all three Republican Candidates for office in the Village of Ballston Spa. Due to League rules, the LWV cannot present a candidate forum with only one party present or with only one candidate for each open seat.”

Mayor John Romano states the LWV information is not entirely forthcoming. “The event originally was proposed for Mar. 13, the same night as the Village Board meeting and Village Court.  The republicans communicated a schedule conflict for that night and were discussing schedules for the new Mar. 16 date. There was a meet and greet in the works for Mar. 16.”

“Imagine our surprise to see the democrats promoting the event as a done deal, as early as Mar. 6, and that one of their candidates for office was advertising them self as an LWV member. We had concerns about the event being truly non-partisan and were considering our options,” continued the Mayor.

“Then, the Mar. 16 event was cancelled by the LWV, then I heard they were reconsidering the cancellation. Now they cancelled it publicly before talking to me directly,” he said. “I was returning phone calls to Ann Kril on Friday.”

The Saratoga chapter of LWV hosts events and voter information services and promotes their organization as non-partisan. A request for publicity for league events is on the group’s website, http://lwvsaratoga.org/members

“We are disappointed that this forum cannot proceed as originally planned. In these times of divisiveness, it would be good to have a community discussion so that all residents and all candidates can interact” according to Ann Kril, Voter Service Chair.

All League candidate forums are open to the media and members of the public, and include an opportunity for questions from the public.

“Why would the democrats begin such a heavy degree of publicity when the league is the one supposedly hosting and our contact? Ann Kril from the league and I have been trading phone calls since end of last week, nobody forced them to do anything,” said Romano. “I’m shocked at how this has all been handled.”

Village elections are Tuesday, Mar. 21 and has a contested race for Village Justice between incumbent Michael Morrissey and Milton resident Erika Tebbens.  Two seats on the Village Board are being challenged by democratic candidates Noah Shaw and Shawn Raymond. Republican candidates Ron Henry and Bruce Couture will be on the ballot.

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