The Eden Democratic Committee, local residents and members of the grassroots group, Citizens Against Collins, came together this evening to object to potential plans by the GOP to nominate indicted Congressman Chris Collins for Town Clerk or Assessor. The two unanticipated vacancies opened recently due to a Town Clerk Mary Jo Hultquist’s retirement in July and co-Assessor Sharon A. Brockman’s death this month.

There has been speculation that the GOP may be eyeing Eden’s vacancies as a way get the embattled Congressman off the ballot for November. However, this may be easier said than done.

“We already have a candidate for Town Clerk, Debbie Popple, who has the best interests of her own community in mind, and people are ready to vote for her. The Congressman doesn’t know our community, doesn’t live here, and has not earned the right to be in office here,” said Adrienne Bermingham, Eden resident and member of Eden Democratic Committee. There is also a Republican candidate vying for the spot.

Jaimie Marzullo, another committee member commented, “Among our neighbors in Eden we have well-known entrepreneurs, business owners, and town leaders. Why in the world would we pass up the opportunity to elect one of them in favor of someone who’s been indicted for financial fraud?”

It’s clear that residents expect to maintain control over their own elections without GOP interference and that the Eden community will not allow the GOP to send Collins to their town without a fight. Resident Elmer Ploetz, notes,“We deserve to elect our own representatives like every other municipality in the 27th district. No town should have to give up that right just so that the GOP can play its games. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen.”