Democratic leader responds to Breneman challenge

Local News

Just a week after a judge strikes down a petition challenge against Jay Breneman, several community members are asking for an audit of the Friends of Jay Breneman Campaign finance report.

This, from his recent campaign for mayor.

The petition claims, “the committee, on behalf of the candidate, has failed to report approximately 29-thousand dollars in expenditures and/or in-kind donation on his annual report.”

But, the Northwest Democratic Caucus Chair is calling the challenge garbage.

“No one has ever seen, in the history of Erie, a petition like this against a candidate who lost and came in third from a year ago,” said Ian Murray, the Northwest Democratic Caucus Chair.

Murray says someone would only file this kind of petition in an effort to weaken one of the three candidates.

“Throw it out with yesterday’s newspaper. They have no merit. They have no place in the public dialogue in terms of this race for this legislative seat,” said Murray. 

The Erie County Clerk of Elections Doug Smith tells us this challenge will not impact Breneman’s presence on the ballot, but it could lead to a fairly involved process.

“Campaign reports can be somewhat complex and people make mistakes and so the court’s gonna have to determine you know how this falls on that whole scale of things,” said Smith.

When asked about the petition, Breneman pointed a finger at candidate Bob Merski, but Merski is claiming he knows nothing about it.

Murray tells us the petitioners lost their first try and they should be prepared to lose on this one too. 

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