Local News

July 28, 2010

Election commissioner at odds with county law

PLATTSBURGH — Democratic Elections Commissioner Susan Castine is challenging a Clinton County law that says she can't run for office and work at the Board of Elections at the same time.

Castine was notified by county officials last week that she was in violation of a law passed in 2000 that says: "Any person who shall become a candidate for elective office shall be disqualified during the period of his or her candidacy from appointment or continued employment from the Board of Elections."

Castine is seeking to run for town justice in the Town of Beekmantown on the Independence, Conservative and Working Families party lines.

She is also expected to receive the Democratic line at the party's caucus next month.

Castine was asked to leave her Board of Elections office last Monday as county officials enforced the local law.

In her challenge of the law, she argues that state law, which does allow for those working as election commissioners to run for public office, supersedes local law.

In federal court, she won a restraining order against the county and was back at work Tuesday afternoon.

Castine also argues in her suit against the county that removing her from office is a violation of her rights.

The case is expected to be heard in federal court in Utica today.

"It is my right to run, and I am challenging this," Castine said.

County Legislature Chairman Jimmy Langley (R-Area 7, Peru) said he believes the county law is warranted.

"Let the court decide," he said.

E-mail Joe LoTemplio at:

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