A U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Jon Powers must stay on ballots as the Working Families' Party (WFP) candidate in New York's 26th congressional district, potentially harming Democrat Alice Kryzan's bid for the seat in tomorrow's election.

Affirming a restraining order issued by a lower federal court on Friday, the 2nd Circuit court ruled in favor of Republicans who sought to deny Kryzan the chance to appear on the ballot as the endorsed WFP candidate as well as the Democrat in the race.

The WFP had endorsed Jon Powers this summer, only to see him upset in the Democratic primary by Kryzan. Powers subsequently moved out of state, one of the few scenarios under which a candidate's name can legally be withdrawn from the ballot under New York election law. Though Kryzan was subsequently endorsed by the WFP, Powers's name will remain on the ballot.

"Chris Lee and his political cronies have plunged a knife into the heart of our democracy by engaging in voter suppression and denying Western New Yorkers their right to vote for the candidate of their choosing," Kryzan said in a statement. "Lee is running a negative and empty campaign, and is now using his family's fortune to undermine the Democratic process."

Kryzan spokeswoman said the campaign would not pursue an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court. "Voting booths are open just over 12 hours," she said.

Republican Chris Lee's campaign, which faces off against Kryzan in the hotly contested race tomorrow, expressed measured enthusiasm over the decision.

"Chris respects the court's decision and he is honored to represent Republican, Conservative, and Independent Party lines tomorrow," said Lee campaign spokeswoman Andrea Bozek.

The Lee campaign indicated it believed the court decision could mean a loss of as many as 9,000 votes in the suburban Buffalo district. Rep. Tom Reynolds (R) won reelection by a 8,343-vote margin in the district in 2006. Reynolds is not seeking reelection.

-Michael O'Brien