Working Families Party asks voters to reject one of its own

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WFP: Don't vote for Kellner. ()
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In an unusual election-season twist, the Working Families Party is urging members to buck one of its own candidates.

The union-backed political party sent an email to roughly 4,000 members Wednesday morning discouraging them from voting for City Council candidate Micah Kellner, a state Assemblyman who received the W.F.P.'s backing, before he was accused of making unwanted advances toward two former aides.

The party has since withdrawn its support, and Kellner lost the Democratic primary last month to Ben Kallos.

But Kellner is still running on the W.F.P. line in Tuesday's election for Manhattan's Upper East Side Council seat, and the party was powerless to change the ballot.

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"We didn't think we'd ever say this: In one City Council race on the East Side of Manhattan, for the first time, we're asking you NOT to vote on the Working Families Party ballot line," Bill Lipton, state director of the party, wrote in the email.

"Despite losing our support, Kellner just won't quit. And unfortunately we have no mechanism to remove his name from our ballot line," Lipton added. "He's waged a nasty, attack-filled campaign. And worst of all, he's doing it on the Working Families line."

Lipton went on to implore party members to vote for Kallos, the Democratic nominee in the race, and the email linked to a fund-raising page for Kallos' campaign.

Kellner did not respond to requests for comment.

Through a spokeswoman, Kallos said, "This is yet another example of strong support for Ben's good government and progressive principles and his vision for the East Side."