N.Y. Supreme Court Dismisses Petition Challenge Filed by Opponent Pool, Saland and Lichtenthal Surrogates and Attorney Kristen Browde
Board of Elections Determination of Validity Stands
Big Win for the Democratic Process
Following a rare ballot access challenge by surrogates of our opponents and attorney Kristen Browde, New York Supreme Court Justice Janet Malone ruled on July 24 that the “Determination of Validity of the nominating petition by the Westchester County Board of Elections… shall stand.” The June 14 determination by the bi-partisan Westchester County Board of Elections (BOE) stated that:
“…the petition is ruled Valid and the names of James A. Smith, Lauren L. Levin, and Sean B. Maraynes will appear on the Independent Party “Team New Castle” ballot for the public office of Supervisor and Councilman in the November 5, 2019 General Election.”
Team New Castle candidates strongly believe in the fundamentals of the democratic process, ballot access, and a genuine willingness to work with residents of all political affiliations. That our opponents—our neighbors—thought to challenge constituent signatures in a local election was their legal right, but we believe their decision helps draw a clear distinction between who we are as candidates, and our positive outlook and vision for New Castle.
Team New Castle represents every resident. Creating this independent line on the ballot makes that statement loud and clear. Whether we win or lose in this election, we believe this accomplishment will change New Castle elections forever by paving the way for other independent parties to form and for voters to have many more candidates to choose from in future elections. This is a win for Democracy and contested elections despite the best efforts of our opponents to deny us.
We want to thank the New Castle voters who signed our petition. In all we collected 618 signatures and met our requirement of 418 signatures, a requirement which was greater than the Democrat, Republican, and other party lines combined. Ultimately the BOE validated 447 signatures and we were prepared to provide voter and witness affidavits and testimony to validate many dozens more in court.
A detailed history of the petition fight can be found here.
Supervisor Candidate Jim Smith said of the challenge, “We’re proud to have fought and won the petition challenge. Our opponents put politics ahead of people and it’s not good for New Castle. This needless attack is Exhibit A for what turns residents off from voting and turns potential candidates away from stepping up to run for office. I hope no candidate or voter in our Town goes through this ever again.”
We remain focused on our positive, resident-focused and nonpartisan campaign. Check out our website www.teamnewcastle.org and reach out to help our campaign or ask us questions by emailing: email@example.com.