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MASIELLO RETAINS DEMOCRATIC LINE

Mayor Masiello will retain the Democratic Party line in the fall mayoral primary -- at least for now -- as a result of a decision issued Tuesday in State Supreme Court.

Citing technical legal requirements, Justice Robert E. Whelan dismissed an effort by Common Council President James W. Pitts to strip Masiello of the party's support in the primary.

Pitts claims Masiello forfeited the Democratic nod under party rules by accepting the endorsement of the Republican Party.

Whelan dismissed the challenge during a phone conference with the attorneys, ruling that the lawsuit was not properly filed in the County Clerk's office.

James Shaw, who brought the lawsuit on behalf of a former vice chairman of the Erie County Democratic Party, said he already refiled the lawsuit, and that it is slated to be heard again by Whelan on Aug. 27. That court date may be moved up by mutual consent.

"The next time out, we're hoping to get to the merits of the case," Shaw said. "We think we've got a strong case on the merits."

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