Secret Support

SHERMAN – Despite what you may have read on a postcard, Fred Croscut is not urging local residents to write in votes for him in today’s election.

On Saturday, postcards surfaced, urging voters to write-in for Croscut, R-Sherman, a 16-year Chautauqua County legislator. Croscut lost to David Himelein in September’s Republican primary for the legislature’s new District 18 seat.

The decision to downsize the Chautauqua County Legislature from 25 to 19 members had Himelein – R-Findley Lake – also a current county legislator, battling for the seat with Croscut in the primary. Himelein is squaring off with Edward Carutis, a Democrat, in today’s election.

The postcards supporting the write-in campaign were reportedly only distributed to Sherman residents.

“I respect Himelein winning,” Croscut said. “I fully support Himelein (in today’s election).”

Croscut said that he was not affiliated with or pushing for a write-in campaign, and he doesn’t know from where the postcards originated.

Norman Green, Chautauqua County Democratic Committee chairman and Chautauqua County Democratic Election Commissioner, said the postcards didn’t come from his party.

“The question is – is he running as a write-in candidate or not?” Green said. “Everywhere you go you would hear about Fred Croscut running as a write-in candidate. It’s Republican business and has nothing to do with Democrats.”

According to Allan Hendrickson, Chautauqua County Republican Committee chairman, Croscut had no intention of campaigning as a write-in. When asked from where the postcards may have originated and if they may affect the outcome of the election, Hendrickson said, “I have no idea. I’m very upset about it. It could, yes, it could.” Hendrickson also noted that he could not be sure if the Democrats were behind the mailings.

“These postcards were mailed to District 18 residents by person or persons unknown,” Himelein said. “Mr. Croscut has denied any involvement in this effort … he is not seeking election and he fully backs my candidacy. I believe most voters have already decided whom they will vote for and this last ditch effort to split Republican votes should not affect who they will elect as their legislator for the next two years.”