“An accidental candidate looms as wild card in Katko-Balter race for Congress”


Steve Williams agreed to be only a temporary placeholder on the Working Families Party line until Democrats chose a candidate – ultimately Balter – in the June 23 primary election.

But now he’s stuck on the ballot, even though he’s backing Balter. His awkward position is the result of miscalculations by the Working Families Party and a lawsuit by Republicans, who want to block Balter from gaining a third-party line in the election.

Williams’ appearance on the ballot takes on added importance because a Siena College | Syracuse.com poll shows Balter (45%) and Katko (42%) locked in a statistical dead heat. The race is within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 5.1 percentage points.

If the election is anything like 2010, when Ann Marie Buerkle defeated Rep. Dan Maffei by 648 votes in the Syracuse-based congressional district, Williams could be a big factor in the final outcome.

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