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Paladino ally Russell knocked off School Board ballot

Another candidate for the Buffalo School Board was knocked off the May 3 ballot Tuesday when a judge ruled she had only 498 valid signatures on her petitions to run for the seat, two short of the 500 required.

Colleen E. Russell, who was running for the East District seat, had gone to State Supreme Court to defend herself against allegations that she did not live in the district, as required. Instead, attorney Jerome D. Schad, chairman of the Amherst Democratic Party who was representing East District incumbent Theresa Harris-Tigg, challenged more of the 500 signatures Russell had left after an initial round of challenges last week. After reviewing the new challenges, Justice John F. O’Donnell agreed to strike two more signatures, thus removing Russell from the ballot.

Lawyers for Russell, who is backed by Park District Board Member Carl Paladino in her quest for the seat, said they may appeal.

Last week, Patricia A. Elliott also was knocked off of the ballot for the East District seat after failing to collect enough valid signatures. She has said she may launch a write-in campaign.

Unless Russell is successful in her appeal, Harris-Tigg would enter the election with no opponent on the ballot.