Friday, September 19, 2014

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Petitioning Process Difficult for Some Candidates in Statewide Races

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Thursday is the deadline for candidates for state offices to submit signatures with the Board of Elections to get onto the primary ballot, a process known as petitioning, and it can be a difficult one for candidates hoping to qualify, particularly those in statewide races. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

Collecting signatures to qualify for the ballot can be grueling work, particularly for a minor candidate in a statewide race where 15,000 signatures are required.

"It's hell. It really is," said actor and comedian Randy Credico, who is trying to run for Governor against Andrew Cuomo. He claims to have gathered 23,000 signatures.

"You could have 100,000 and a good lawyer could probably get you knocked off the ballot," he said. "They could find something wrong with the entire operation."

For more established candidates, the process can be easier due to name recognition.

John Liu ran unsuccessfully for mayor last year. Now, he is running for state senate in his home district in Queens.

"The petitioning process is absolutely labor intensive, but well worth it because it's a chance for me and all of our volunteers to go out there and talk with voters one on one and to explain to them why I'm running," Liu said.

One thousand signatures are needed for state Senate seats, and on Monday, four days before the deadline, the Liu campaign claims to have handed in more than 7,500.

There were some other surprises as well. Former state Assemblyman Guillermo Linares filed to run for his old seat after it was vacated by Gabriela Rosa, who resigned last month after pleading guilty to corruption charges.

And Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham law professor who is also running against Governor Cuomo in the primary, said she managed to gather 45,000 signatures in just three weeks.

"We're prepared for a challenge. We're expecting a challenge," Teachout said. "We have heard some speculation that Cuomo will not bring a legal challenge because it makes him look weak."

This is the deadline for candidates who want to run within one of the major statewide parties. The deadline for independent candidates is August 19, where the same number of signatures, 15,000, is required to get on the ballot. The primary is September 9.

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