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Candidate’s claims questioned after press release published in Geneva newspaper

A City Council candidate has come under fire for his membership in two organizations whose credentials are being questioned.

And while Ben Vasquez, who is running on the Republican line for one of two at-large city council seats, acknowledges issues people are having with the two organizations — Global Goodwill Ambassadors and the Institute for Middle East Peace and Progress — he insists the announcement of his involvement in the groups to the Finger Lakes Times was not done to give his candidacy a boost.

“I’m a man of integrity,” he said in a conference call Monday with the Finger Lakes Times after the Times began looking into allegations that information he provided for a story published Wednesday contained possibly misleading claims of what the two organizations do — or are not doing.

“I’m passionate about what I do,” he said. “I was not doing this for political gain.”

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