By: Times Telegram

LITTLE FALLS — Martin Babinec, an Independent and Reform party candidate, filed more than 10,000 signatures with the state Board of Elections to establish the Upstate Jobs Party line.

“We’ve experienced a groundswell of support from voters across the district who are tired of the same old phony promises from both parties about creating jobs — they want a real plan and real action,” Babinec said in a news release.

To create a new ballot line, election law requires 3,500 signatures from any registered voter who has not already signed a petition for a congressional candidate. With this submission of more than 10,000 signatures, 10,122 at last count, the effort surpassed any known congressional signature drive in the state — including from major party candidates who benefit from having access to an established volunteer list to gather signatures, according to the release.

The system is rigged against outsiders like me who seek to make a difference,” said Babinec. “From the arcane rules, to the steep ballot requirements and a quasi-professional underfunded electoral machinery controlled by the two-parties, for the two parties — it is nearly impossible for concerned citizens to run for office. The fact we were able to set a new signature record beginning a campaign with zero volunteers and no organizational support speaks to how we are starting a movement that resonates with volunteers and voters alike.”

Babinec, a successful entrepreneur and upstate jobs advocate, is a first time candidate in the three-way race to succeed retiring U.S. Richard Hanna, R-Barneveld. Other candidates up for Hanna’s seat include state Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, R-New Hartford and Democratic Broome County Legislator Kim Myers.

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