Republican State Sen. Greg Ball and Democratic challenger Justin Wagner are facing off in today's Green Party primary, seeking to win its ballot line.
The two 40th Senate District candidates will have to run as write-in candidates. According to the Westchester County Board of Elections, there is an opporunity to ballot for the Green Party but no candidates are listed, which leaves the write-in method as the only path to winning.
Each candidate is arguing that they are aligned with the Green Party, touting their environmental credentials and skepticism over the hydraulic fracturing technique for natural gas, which is also known as "fracking."
"Justin believes that he rather than Greg Ball better represents the values of the 40th district including members of the Green party Given Senator Ball's policy positions, suffice it to say that I am surprised that he is seeking the line," explained Steve Napier, a campaign official for Wagner (D-Croton-on-Hudson).
Ball (R-Patterson), in making his case for the Green Party backing, argues that Wagner is beholden to the supporters of fracking.
"We believe the fracking industry is behind his trojan horse candidacy and attempting to steal this Green Party election so they can use wacky wagner to lay out the welcome mat for big oil and gas," reads a statement from his camapign. "If the members of the Green Party support Senator Ball with their endorsement on September 13, they will send a strong message to Albany against fracking."
Ball's campaign claims that Wagner has accepted funds from attorneys connected to the industry. Professionally, Wagner's background including being an attorney at the firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
Asked about this criticism, Napier responded: "Justin Wagner was an associate attorney for one of the largest law firms in the world and had no input in the client list. Justin never represented any hydrofracking companies."
Napier then added that Ball has accepted financial support from the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, chaired by upstate Sen. Tom Libous, who he says is pro-fracking. Libous, according to past media reports, appears to be more interested in drilling than either Ball or Wagner have publicly stated.
Only those who are registered Green Party members can vote and it doesn't appear that there will be many. Regardless of who gets the ballot line, the candidate will face off again in November's general election.