Gilbert drops out of GOP Congress race

Joe Gilbert told the Enterprise Friday afternoon he did not submit his petitions by the April 10 deadline, due to family reasons.

“I’m dropping out of the GOP race,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert, who lives in DeKalb Junction and identifies with the Tea Party movement, said he may still seek independent petitions to run on the Constitution Party line. That party endorsed him this month but has had problems with ballot access in the past.

He had previously said he had enough signatures on his nominating petition to enter the Republican race, but he didn’t submit them to the state Board of Elections.

His withdrawal leaves two candidates in the mix for a Republican Party primary election June 24: Matt Doheny of Watertown, who has twice previously been the Republican candidate for the job, and Elise Stefanik of Willsboro, who has been endorsed by Republican county chairs. Both filed petitions with the requisite number of signatures, although there’s a chance these may be challenged in court.

Two Democrats, Steven Burke of Macomb and Aaron Woolf of Elizabethtown and New York City, also filed their petitions and are looking ahead to a primary face-off. The Democratic county chairs have endorsed Woolf.

There may also be a Green Party primary June 24. Matt Funiciello of Glens Falls submitted his signatures in time, and Donald Hassig of Colton said he mailed his in before the deadline, which according to Board of Elections rules should be allowable.