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Watertown businessman Matt Doheny in 2012. NCPR file photo: David Sommerstein
Watertown businessman Matt Doheny in 2012. NCPR file photo: David Sommerstein

NY21 Republican primary goes from sour to bitter

The bitter fight between Republicans Matt Doheny and Elise Stefanik just got a little more fierce. The two are running to replace Democrat Bill Owens in the 21st Congressional District. Owens is retiring at the end of this year.

The Stefanik campaign announced yesterday that she plans to challenge petitions filed by Doheny for the Conservative and the Independence Party ballot lines.

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Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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In a statement, Stefanik's campaign accused Doheny of "a troublesome pattern of legal transgression." Stefanik, who moved to Willsboro last year to prepare for the race, also threatened to take the fight to court.

Doheny is a businessman from Watertown who has run for the North Country's House seat twice before unsuccessfully. A spokesman for his campaign, David Catalfamo, issued a statement yesterday mocking Stefanik.

One of the NY-21 GOP candidates, Elise Stefanik (left), and Democratic candidate Aaron Woolf. NCPR file photos
One of the NY-21 GOP candidates, Elise Stefanik (left), and Democratic candidate Aaron Woolf. NCPR file photos
"It's sad that the Stefanik campaign would stoop to this level in a desperate attempt to garner some press," Catalfamo said.

With Republicans and Conservatives once again deeply divided as they head toward their June primary vote, filmmaker Aaron Woolf, a seasonal resident of Elizabethtown, is the frontrunner on the Democratic ticket.

Woolf is expected to face Stephen Burke, a member of the Macomb town council, in the Democratic Primary. Woolf, who has the backing from party leaders, plans to make a campaign swing this week with Owens.

Also on the Green Party ballot will be bakery owner Matthew Funiciello from Glens Falls. It's unclear whether past Green candidate Donald Hassig will make the ballot, after failing to file petitions by the deadline.

The North Country's House seat is expected to be one of the most competitive races in the country.

NOTE: This story has been corrected. In an earlier version, Democrat Aaron Woolf was described as running uncontested in his party's primary The earlier version also failed to mention Green Party candidates vying for the seat.

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