Members of the Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee met Tuesday to hear complaints filed by Gerry Klein, the incumbent town justice in Cortlandt who's running for reelection, against his opponent Shari Gordon.
Klein, a Republican, complained that lawn signs for Gordon were misleading because the wording read "Shari Gordon – Cortlandt Town Justice," and that "could give the impression that she was the incumbent," according to a press release.
The committee sided with Klein, who represented himself and was accompanied by Stephen DeName. Alan Goldston represented Gordon, who has secured an endorsement from the Democrats.
The term for town justice is four years. Klein has served as town justice since 1990. Gordon has 27 years legal experience. Both tout community involvement on their websites (Gordon's is here and Klein's here).
Here are the findings by the Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee as provided:
Unfair. The Committee found that the wording of the sign violated the Committee’s Guidance to Candidates, which state that, “A candidate should not create the false impression that he/she is an incumbent. Examples are bumper stickers, signs, and/or palm cards that contain logos of the name and the office without the usual words such as 'Elect’ or ‘For’...”
The Committee noted that as soon as the matter was brought to the attention of the Gordon campaign, efforts were made to remedy it.
According to the Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee, its purpose is to "promote a climate in which candidates conduct honest and fair campaigns." The Committee encourages candidates to conduct campaigns openly and fairly, to discuss issues, to refrain from dishonest and defamatory attacks, and not to use campaign materials that distort the facts. Its task is to accept written complaints about alleged unfair campaign practices and to determine whether the action complained about is indeed unfair.