Meet the Friends of Lysander

The Friends of Lysander is a party to be reckoned with.

The newly formed political group is offering Lysander voters a slate of candidates that don't have explicit major party affiliation for the upcoming election.

"There are a significant portion of registered voters that aren't aligned with political parties," said John Salisbury, who is the party's candidate for town supervisor. "The Friends of Lysander allows these registered voters to vote on a line where they can look at candidates rather than political affiliation."

Since holding a kick-off party Sept. 29, the Friends of Lysander are getting their name out to provide a choice to voters. And with a slate of candidates that includes a registered republican and three registered democrats, the group clearly does not follow one political line.

"Getting rid of the national political party makes more sense for local politics because the issues are different," said Charles Mantione, Jr., the party's candidate for town justice. "The focus in town is the candidate, not the party."

How it began

About six months ago, Salisbury decided he wanted to run for town supervisor. After receiving an endorsement from the Lysander Democratic Committee (even though he is a registered republican), Salisbury sought the help of Lysander resident Bernie Coyle, an experience political campaigner. Coyle was the driving force behind forming the Friends of Lysander, earning the nickname of the "Facilitator."

"Bernie has been involved in many campaigns and has taught us a lot," Salisbury said. "We've learned how to become fundraisers, do door to door campaigning, sign contributors, basically everything in a campaign, we now know how to do."

If the party receives enough votes in the election, it will become an active party for future elections.

"We hope this to be an ongoing party where all people can be a part of us," Salisbury said.

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