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September 19, 2013

Bachman out, Crowell in for treasurer seat

(Continued)

Crowell will have Row A on the ballot.

“If elected, I would serve to the extent my obligations would allow, and exactly as is currently taking place, ensure there is stability in a seamless and capable leadership if and when other duties arise,” Crowell said Tuesday.

Crowell, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves, said he was home on leave this week, but will return soon to Fort Bragg, where he has been undergoing special operations training.

He said he does not anticipate being able to personally campaign for his re-election, due to his current deployment.

In the meantime, Crowell said: “In response to this situation, I am seeking what clarity I can get on my military obligations on the horizon so that I can convey this to the community in advance of Election Day to inform their decision.”

GOP operative Vince Casale, who is involved in promoting Keator, said Crowell should articulate for voters how he can serve as treasurer given the military obligations that were the catalyst from his earlier withdrawal from the race.

“The people of Otsego County need stability in the treasurer’s office,” Casale said.

Crowell said he found it ironic that Republicans worked hard to disqualify Bachman as an independent candidate after earlier trying to woo the acting treasurer to run with GOP support and after giving the cold shoulder to Keator’s initial attempt to line up Republican support.

“A lot of people on both sides of the aisle have questions about Keator’s capabilities for the job,” Crowell said.

Casale said Republican officials initially took a pass on getting behind Keator because Crowell appeared poised on seeking re-election.

“They changed the playing field,” he said.

Otsego County GOP Chairwoman Sheila Ross said Crowell’s renewed interest in taking the job puts her Democratic counterpart, Richard Abbate, in the position of “flipflopping.” She predicted that Crowell, if he wins the election, would once again seek to have Bachman appointed as acting treasurer.

Abbate said the Republican challenges to Bachman’s signatures amounted to “technicalities” based on arcane sections of state Election Law. But Casale said many of the signatures were disqualified after being found to be in violation of routine rules prohibiting any voter who signed a petition for one candidate (such as Crowell) later circulating petitions for another candidate, in this case Bachman.

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