Missing Name On Party Line Questioned By Councilwoman

Questions have been raised over how the name of a Jamestown City Councilwoman seeking re-election was left off an official document authorizing her to run on the Chautauqua County Independence Party line in November.

In past elections, the party has authorized Kimberly Ecklund to appear on their line. A Republican councilwoman-at-large, she secured the Independence Party’s authorization during a June meeting. Ecklund is looking to retain her at-large seat on the City Council.

The list of candidates authorized to run on the Independence line was sent to the county Board of Elections where it was notarized by Doris Parment, deputy Democratic elections commissioner, on July 17. The list of candidates on the notarized document didn’t have Ecklund’s name on it.

Ecklund said she’s disappointed and is asking how it happened.

“It’s disappointing when you go out and do what you’re supposed to do,” she said. “You have that endorsement; you follow the rules and one little thing gets you off the ballot. It could make or break my election. Was it intentional or was it truly an accident?”

Political parties can nominate a candidate who isn’t an enrolled member of their party. July 17 was the last day for political parties to file a certificate of authorization with signatures and acknowledgment by the presiding officer and the secretary of the meeting at which the authorization was given.

With the deadline already passed, Ecklund’s name can’t be put back on the official document. Brian Abram, Republican elections commissioner, said they can only go with what’s on the official document. Without the name, there’s no authorization.

“There was an oversight and at least a situation where the name wasn’t on there for whatever reason,” he said. “We can only go with what’s in front of us, and that’s the official document.”

Ecklund said the Independence Party and Chairman Thom Shagla are supporting her as she works to secure another term.

Shagla and Edward Newman, party acting secretary, were in attendance for the notarization. Shagla said it was an “unfortunate typographical error.”

“The committee and I support her,” Shagla told The Post-Journal. “I will tell everybody and anybody that we support her and will continue to support her. There’s no way we’d not support her. She’s done an exemplary job.”

The Independence Party authorized more than 60 candidates throughout the county, both Democrat and Republican, to appear on their line this election. The party authorized Democrat Greg Rabb to run on their line as he seeks to secure another term as Jamestown councilman-at-large. Independence party member Michael Laurin will also appear on the line for councilman-at-large. Democrat Marie Carrubba and Republicans Brent Sheldon and Anthony Dolce were also nominated to appear on the Independence line in their respective races.

Shagla said he’s ensuring Independence Party members in Jamestown know they are supporting Ecklund. As for Ecklund, she said she’s hoping people who have voted for her on the Independence Line will look for her name on another line this election.