Jane Corwin is a conservative Republican candidate in the May 24 special election in NY-26 to fill the seat vacated by Chris Lee, and should be well-positioned to win.

But, as has happened before, someone has grabbed a Tea Party line on the ballot without any Tea Party background, threatening to split the vote.  As reported by Politico, Jack Davis petitioned his way onto the ballot:

Davis, who ran a failed campaign as a Democrat for the seat as a Democrat in 2006, waged a petition-gathering campaign to get on the ballot for the May 24 special election after initially seeking out the GOP nomination. Davis, who has said he is willing to spend as much as $3 million of his own money in the race, turned in more than 12,000 petitions to local election officials earlier this week, far more than the 3,500 needed to qualify.

Davis is a spoiler, does not represent the Tea Party movement or conservatives, and his campaign is being run a self-described progressive operative.

I don’t know if Davis is up to no good, or simply has a misguided ego and thinks he can buy the election. 

These doubts are supported by research by Sam Foster at Left Coast Rebel (who is from the district), who dug up Davis’s campaign contributions, which are decidedly liberal:

$1,000 to Dan Maffei on June 30, 2009
$1,000 to Brian Higgins on June 25, 2009
$1,000 to Eric “tickle me” Massa June 30, 2009
$1,000 to Louise “demon pass” Slaughter July 1, 2009
$1,000 to Steven Kagen on August 4, 2009

Davis secured the backing of a group called the Western New York Tea Party Coalition, but has been rejected by the major Tea Party group in the area:

Leaders of the largest tea party organization in Western New York have called on Jack Davis to exit the 26th district special election.

Davis, who has previously run for the seat as a Democrat, was passed over for the Republican ballot line and is instead running on the Tea Party line, which he came up with to get on the ballot. State Assemblywoman Jane Corwin was selected as the Republican nominee by county GOP chairmen, and she is the favorite in the special election for the seat vacated by former Rep. Chris Lee (R).

The danger for Republicans is a split ticket that could provide a Democratic route to victory in the Republican-leaning district. TEA New York organizers Rus and Jul Thompson argued in an email to the media that the tea party is a movement — not a party — and should not be used as a third-party route to office.

Davis has had problems in the past:

Davis, who has said he will spend up to $3 million of his personal fortune on the race, also has ample political baggage. And the National Republican Congressional Committee will work to ensure it’s well-known in the coming months should it determine that he poses a substantial threat to Corwin.

The Davis campaign had previously been accused of petition fraud, and allegations surfaced in 2008 that the three-time failed Democratic candidate paid off Independence Party leaders to help secure their endorsement.

Davis is a former Democrat who ran for election as a Democrat, who recently supported liberal Democrats and who has a liberal Democrat campaign manager.

This looks, quacks and walks like another false flag Tea Party candidate.

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