The Erie County Green Party says Republicans have co-opted their line in New York's 27th Congressional District.
"They basically went door to door, misled Green Party voters. Told them they were carrying petitions for a Green Party candidate, a progressive,” said Eric Jones, Erie County Green Party chair.
The party says it’s clear the candidate, Mike Zak, does not share their values and it was known GOP operatives, including a former state Assembly candidate, who collected his signature.
Zak very recently registered Green, and confusing the situation even more, shares a name with a local business owner who has been on the party rolls.
Jones says he doesn't know if that was planned.
"It would not shock me if it was but, you know, I have no proof of that,” he said.
Democratic candidate Nate McMurray believes it’s clear incumbent Chris Collins' campaign is trying to siphon votes from Green members and Progressive Democrats.
"Those two or three percentage points can mean the difference between a loss and a win and they want to make sure those points don't go to me,” McMurray (D) said.
Collins’ campaign says it had nothing to do with the petitions and they don't know anything about who was behind the effort.
Spokesperson Chris Grant says Democrats are pushing the story because McMurray's campaign is struggling.
"Their candidate's not raising money. Their candidate doesn't have a message. Their candidate doesn't live in the district and as recently as this morning, statewide Democrats were trying to muscle him out,” said Grant.
Two sources do confirm some Democrats were exploring the possibility this weekend of replacing McMurray on the ballot with Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.
McMurray, however, would have to drop out of the race, which he says he has no plans to do.
"Everything that's happening, all these dirty tricks, are showing how vulnerable the other side is and that's why there's more interest in this race than when I first got in it a few months ago, because we're making it competitive,” he said.
Zak did not immediately return a request for comment.