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August 15, 2013

Dems unable to get Crowell off ballot

Otsego County Democrats say they are now resigned to the fact that county Treasurer Dan Crowell’s name will be on election ballots in November even though he has no intention of keeping his job beyond the end of this year.

The party had been exploring ways to have Crowell removed from the ballot, such as getting him nominated for another public office.

But Otsego County Democratic Chairman Richard Abbate confirmed Tuesday that his party has abandoned that effort, and will wage a public-awareness campaign so voters know the Democrats are supporting Russ Bachman, the acting treasurer and a political independent.

“Our job is to let the voters know Dan Crowell will not accept the position and in fact has indicated he believes that Russ Bachman is the best person to replace him,” said Abbate.

Crowell was called to active duty by the U.S. Army last February, and has been training with a Special Operations unit. He missed the July deadline for withdrawing as a candidate for public office during a week when he was undergoing grueling training that included sleep deprivation, he said.

The Republican Party is backing Edward Keator Jr. of West Oneonta, the treasurer for the village of Cooperstown. Keator was defeated by Crowell four years ago.

County GOP Chairwoman Sheila Ross declined to comment on the fact that Crowell’s name will remain on the ballot while Democrats try to rally support for Bachman.

When a candidate opts out of a race too late to get off the ballot, that person often collects some votes, particularly when that person is linked to a major party. Crowell is a Democrat.

For instance, eight years before he was elected governor, Andrew Cuomo collected more than 15,000 votes in the governor’s race that year, even though he had taken himself out of the race well before the 2002 general election. Cuomo had been nominated by the Liberal Party.

His vote total as a non-candidate on Election Day represented about 1 percent of those cast for Democrat Carl McCall, who was defeated by then-incumbent Gov. George Pataki.

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