Tuesday marks the unofficial start to the 2019 political calendar, as potential candidates for office are now able to circulate petitions to get on the ballot this coming Primary Day.
It’s the earliest politicians in New York State have been able to gather signatures, as a result of a bill passed by the state legislature in January, which moved Primary Day from September to June.
Despite the milestone, we’re still no closer to knowing who will challenge Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. That race is expected to be among the most watched in Western New York this year.
Poloncarz, a Democrat, announced his candidacy for re-election earlier this month. However, no Republicans have announced their candidacy. State Senator Chris Jacobs and Erie County Legislator Ed Rath have already declined to run.
It has been speculated that Legislator Lynne Dixon, an independent who caucuses with the Republicans in the Erie County Legislature, may run on the Republican line. But she’s still yet to officially announce her candidacy.
“There’s no requirement that you been out on the first day,” said Erie County Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr. “However, if somebody signs a petition for the same office on a date earlier, that signature is going to be valid and the later signature is going to be invalid.”
Petitions are due to the board of elections the first week of April.