Jason Ellis out of running for Broome County sheriff - WBNG.com: Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Jason Ellis out of running for Broome County sheriff

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Photo: Jason Ellis campaign website Photo: Jason Ellis campaign website

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Jason Ellis will not be on the ballot for the Republican primary for Broome County sheriff.

The news comes after a hearing in the Broome County Office Building, where the Board of Elections heard objections that challenged petition signatures filed by Ellis.

Board members went through petition signatures one by one, deciding whether objections were valid.

Ellis, a retired detective sergeant with the Broome County Sheriff's Office, needed 1,000 valid signatures to be on the ballot for September's primary election. He had collected a total of 1,059 signatures, but 87 signatures within the first of nine pages, were tossed Tuesday.

Broome County Elections officials say one reason a signature may be considered invalid is because the witness who signed is not registered to vote, or registered as a Republican.

"You have to be a member of that party to be a valid signature for that person. The concept is that Republicans should have a say who is their candidate," said Board of Election Commissioner Phil Grommet.

Another reason for invalidation would be if a witness who signed also signed Sheriff David Harder's petition.

"You have multiple people running for a nomination. And what can happen is that if you're a resident citizen, a Republican, and you sign a petition, you can only sign once, because only once person can be candidate for sheriff," said Grommet.

Ellis wrote the following message on his campaign's Facebook page, "We are out of the running for Broome County Sheriff. The Republican leaders and the Sheriff decided, not the voters. I would like to thank everyone that helped to make this possible. The dream is over today. Jason."

The objections were raised by Paul VanSavage, who is listed as the Party Vice Chairman on the Broome Republicans website. Election officials say anyone who is a registered voter in Broome County can make objections to candidate petitions during a countywide race. VanSavage released the following statement to 12 News on Tuesday:

After 50 years in local politics and government, I feel strongly that candidates should respect and follow the law - especially candidates for Sheriff. A review of Jason Ellis's petition shows that he submitted approximately 300 invalid signatures, leaving him short of the number required by law. If he wanted to run for office, Jason Ellis should've gotten enough valid signatures like more than 100 other local candidates did this year.

The Broome County Board of Elections says they will release the official number of signatures that were disqualified from Ellis' petition by the end of the week.

Incumbent sheriff, Republican David Harder, will face former Binghamton mayor Matt Ryan, who is running under the Working Families party, during November's election. 

Jason Ellis released the following statement Tuesday:

This morning I was advised by the Broome County Board of Elections that we have
fallen short of the required number of signatures to be included on the Republican
primary ballot for Broome County Sheriff.

Our petitions included 1,059 signatures of support. These signatures were collected in
good faith by my campaign committee and other registered Republicans. Following
submission of the petitions, Republican party leaders challenged a number of the
signatures we collected. Following a hearing this morning, I learned that 87 signatures
were disallowed, leaving us short of the required 1,000 signatures to be included on the
ballot.

We respect the ruling and accept the fact that I will not be part of this year’s election.
However, one cannot help but conclude that the challenge of our petitions by the
Republican party was an orchestrated manipulation of the electoral process. The party
has violated its own by-laws and taken sides in a primary and, once again, primary
voters have been deprived of the right to choose their candidate.

As it gets closer to the election it’s important that voters understand that it is time for a
change!

The ongoing issues with the fiscal management of the Sheriff's Office, serious concerns
with health care, safety and staffing at the jail, and appropriate resource management of
the road patrol will not fix themselves. The current administration is apparently unwilling
or unable to address these issues.

The Broome County Sheriff’s Department needs a leader with new ideas, new vision,
and the experience to address the complexities of the world we live in today.
Thank you to those who supported my campaign and our vision for a change. I look
forward to the next chapter in my long history of public service and will continue to
contribute to making my community a great place to live, work and raise a family.

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