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

The two will face off as write-in candidates in today's primary, along with candidate Jeff Green.

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 opportunity 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 campaign. "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.

Also running for the ballot line is Jeff Green, who believes that Ball and Wagner are usurping the party. Green, who states he is a Green Party member, announced his bid in a post on the state Green Party's Facebook page.

While today is the date for state and local primaries in New York State the Green Party primary is the only race for New Castle and Mount Kisco, according to town officials. In both communities, the number of polling places will be reduced from the normal count. Mount Kisco's only place will be , according to Village Manager James Palmer. Meanwhile, will serve as New Castle's sole place for voters, explained Town Clerk Jill Shapiro.

Only those who are registered Green Party members can vote and it doesn't appear that there will be many. According to 2011 party enrollment numbers - they are the most recent available figures - there were just 11 registered Greens in Mount Kisco and 14 in New Castle.

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 02:00 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.
Tom Auchterlonie (Editor) September 13, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Hi Jeff, thank you for commenting. As a note for readers, Jeff has announced his own write-in campaign: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Green-Party-of-New-York-State/175347793539

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