Ball, Wagner, Vie for Green Party's Ballot Line

The two will face off as write-in candidates in today's primary.


Republican State Sen. Greg Ball and Democratic challenger Justin Wagner are facing off in today's Green Party primary, seeking to win its ballot line.

The two 40th Senate District candidates will have to run as write-in candidates. According to the Westchester County Board of Elections, there is an opporunity to ballot for the Green Party but no candidates are listed, which leaves the write-in method as the only path to winning.

Each candidate is arguing that they are aligned with the Green Party, touting their environmental credentials and skepticism over the hydraulic fracturing technique for natural gas, which is also known as "fracking."

"Justin believes that he rather than Greg Ball better represents the values of the 40th district including members of the Green party Given Senator Ball's policy positions, suffice it to say that I am surprised that he is seeking the line," explained Steve Napier, a campaign official for Wagner (D-Croton-on-Hudson).

Ball (R-Patterson), in making his case for the Green Party backing, argues that Wagner is beholden to the supporters of fracking.

"We believe the fracking industry is behind his trojan horse candidacy and attempting to steal this Green Party election so they can use wacky wagner to lay out the welcome mat for big oil and gas," reads a statement from his camapign. "If the members of the Green Party support Senator Ball with their endorsement on September 13, they will send a strong message to Albany against fracking."

Ball's campaign claims that Wagner has accepted funds from attorneys connected to the industry. Professionally, Wagner's background including being an attorney at the firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

Asked about this criticism, Napier responded: "Justin Wagner was an associate attorney for one of the largest law firms in the world and had no input in the client list. Justin never represented any hydrofracking companies."

Napier then added that Ball has accepted financial support from the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, chaired by upstate Sen. Tom Libous, who he says is pro-fracking. Libous, according to past media reports, appears to be more interested in drilling than either Ball or Wagner have publicly stated.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Regardless of who gets the ballot line, the candidate will face off again in November's general election.

Jeff Green September 13, 2012 at 01:58 PM
There is a Green running to save the line today in this race. If you're a registered Green Party member you can help us by writing in, "Jeff Green" on the ballot today. Imagine Greg Ball as a Green? Come on! I know it's impossible to consider.
Kirsten Berger September 13, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Greg Ball a Green Party candidate? Am I in an alternative universe here? He has never said he was against fracking, only that he is for regulating it so that it will be "safe." That doesn't make him Green in my book.
Mary Crescenzo September 13, 2012 at 02:47 PM
I just talked to the commissioner of elections and this article is very confusing, with wat appears to be mis-information. If I understood correctly, this is a write in, anyone can write a name in if you are registered with the Green and Conservative parties.
Carl Lundgren September 26, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Not entirely correct. Justin Wagner filed what's called an Opportunity to Ballot with the Board of Elections for the Green Party line. An OTB can only be used in an uncontested primary election - in other words, there would be no primary because only one candidate filed a petition for that office - or when a party has no candidate in the race, as was the case with the Green Party in SD40. Wagner was able to convince 5% of enrolled Green voters in the district to sign the OTB petition, in effect misrepresenting himself as a Green, and then, by using notaries to witness the petition signatures, he was able to get around the requirement that the sigantures need to be witnessed by Green enrollees. This is all legal and within the Election Law. Because no name actually appears on an OTB, a name must be written in. That's how Greg Ball was also able to ask Green enrollees to write in his name on the ballot. Real Green Jeff Green on finding out about this, contacted Greens from around the state asking them to call Green enrollees, explain the situation to them, and urge them to write in his name so that we could protect the integrity and independence of our ballot line.


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