In 2015, Cheryl Dinolfo got 4,032 votes on the Independence Party line in her bid for County Executive, accounting for about six percent of her vote total. Because that line can make or break a campaign, both Dinolfo, a Republican, and her Democratic challenger Adam Bello wanted it, but a dispute over the nomination led to a court fight.
On Friday, the Appellate Division denied Bello’s effort to win the nomination without a primary. Meaning, on June 25, voters will make the choice. If Dinolfo wins, she’ll be on the Republican, Conservative and Independence tickets. If Bello wins, he’ll be on the Democrat, Working Family Party, and Independence tickets.
In a statement, Cheryl Dinolfo’s campaign spokeswoman Bridget Harvey says:
“For the second time, a Court has struck down the backroom Albany deal Adam Bello brokered to keep Independents from being able to vote for County Executive Dinolfo in a Primary. It’s no wonder Adam is afraid to face Independence voters: County Executive Dinolfo has a bipartisan record of growing jobs and cutting taxes, while Adam was hand-picked by Andrew Cuomo to bring Albany’s tax-and-spend policies to Monroe County. We are pleased that Adam now has no choice but to answer to Independence voters for his ties to Albany’s culture of corruption.”
Amy Growler with Adam Bello’s campaign issued the following statement to News 8:
“We are happy with the outcome of last Friday’s decision. The ruling validates our right to be on the ballot and let Independence Party voters choose the nominee, as opposed to a local party boss that is bought and paid for by the Republican Party.“
As they head into the primary, here’s a look at their campaign money. Dinolfo’s war chest is far bigger than Bello’s. According to the most recent numbers, she has $469,000 to spend, while Bello has $203,000.
You can read the full list of primary candidates running for county offices June 25 here.