Supreme Court Rules Independent Party “TEAM NEW CASTLE” Will Appear on November Ballot

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

Can you believe our opponents did this?

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: teamnewcastle@tnc2019.org.

April – 28 May: Signing Nominating Petitions.  Team New Castle collected signatures for the petition to create the Independent Party for the November election.  This took place door-to-door, at the Farmer’s Market and numerous other public events and locations, especially the Train Station where TNC appeared on more than a dozen days, sometimes as early as 5:00 a.m.

Tuesday, 21 May: Nominating Petition Volume 1. Team New Castle submitted to the Board of Elections Volume 1 of their Nominating Petition; it contained 498 signatures.

Friday, 24 May: General Objection Volume 1. Bjorn Christian Edstrom (spouse of Candidate Ivy Pool), Stephanie Steinberg (Spouse of Candidate Jason Lichtenthal), Iris Lachaud, and Marie Short filed General Objections against the Team New Castle Nominating Petition.

Tuesday, 28 May:Nominating Petition Volume 2. Team New Castle submitted to the Board of Elections Volume 2 of their Nominating Petition; it contained an additional 120 signatures. This was the last day to submit signatures to create an Independent Party. While at the BOE to submit the signatures, Jim Smith saw his opponents Ivy Pool and Jeremy Saland reviewing petitions for the challenge.

Friday, 31 May: General Objection Volume 2. Bjorn Christian Edstrom, Stephanie Steinberg, Iris Lachaud, and Marie Short filed General Objections against the Team New Castle Nominating Petition Volume 2 signatures.

Thursday, 6 June: Specific Objections. Iris Lachaud and Marie Short filed Specific Objections against Team New Castle, seeking to strike 356 signatures and disqualify the Independent Party “Team New Castle” from the November ballot. The vast majority of these challenges related to alleged voter signature defects and legibility claims.

Friday, 14 June:Board of Elections Ruling. The BOE, after an extensive 7+ day review that consumed significant county resources, ruled on the Specific Objections in favor of Team New Castle.

Tuesday 18 June:Petition to Invalidate.  Our opponents through surrogates and their counsel, Kristen Browde, file a Petition to Invalidate signatures in New York Supreme Court.