Henrietta, NY --- The November ballot for a still vacant congressional seat is officially set in stone. This week 29th District Congressional hopeful Janice Volk of Cuba, Allegany County failed in her final attempt to submit the required amount of signatures needed to appear on the ballot.
Last month Volk submitted more than the required amount of signatures to appear on the ballot as a Republican Party candidate; and in turn to force a primary against Tom Reed of Corning. Volk’s petitions were then challenged by an associate of Reed’s and the N.Y.S. Board of Election reviewed her petitions. The B.O.E. eventually ruled that some of those signatures were invalid and that Volk failed to meet the required amount of 1,250 signatures.
A subsequent attempt by the Volk campaign to gather 3,500 signatures by August 17th in order to appear on the ballot under a newly created Tea Party line was also unsuccessful.
That leaves Republican Tom Reed, a lawyer and Corning's former mayor, as one of two candidates to appear on the November ballot. Democrat Matt Zeller, a U.S. Army reservists and former C.I.A. agent, is the other candidate vying for this seat.
The two men hope to fill a Congressional seat that’s remained vacant since March following the sudden resignation of Democrat Eric Massa amid scandal and health concerns. This November voters will choose between Reed and Zeller once on a Special Election line of the ballot, and once again on the General Election line of the ballot.
The winner of the Special Election is to serve out the remaining two months of Massa's term. The winner of the General Election will then be sworn in for a full two-year Congressional term beginning in January 2011.
In addition to this news 13WHAM News has now confirmed commitments from both Reed and Zeller to debate the issues of the NY-29th. Details of that debate will be released as they become available and as Election Day nears.