For the last six years, Democrat Rebecca Seawright has represented Manhattan’s Upper East Side in the State Assembly, but due to a filing error, she lost the ballot position in May after her petitions were challenged in court.
“It was a minor technicality,” Seawright said. “It was a late cover sheet, but we are just so energized to be meeting voters and running on the Rise and Unite line.”
If you haven’t heard of the Rise and Unite party before, it’s because it’s made up for this election. Seawright is still running on her record, including her sponsorship of a bill requiring 3D mammograms, and a Civil Rights amendment.
Seawright is being challenged by Lou Puliafito, an Upper East Side doorman, who’s running as a Republican.
“I think she is taking the neighborhood and the Democratic support for granted,” said Puliafito. “And that is why she failed to file the papers correctly.”
In yet another twist in this race, a third candidate, Patrick Bobilin, is running as an independent to Seawright’s left.
Bobilin identifies as a Democratic Socialist. He was arrested in June for allegedly smashing a car window during a Black Lives Matter protest.
“Unfortunately, the police arrested me and one other person,” Bobilin said. “They did not take a statement from the hundreds of other people who were standing on the street asking to give their statement.”
Despite not running as a Democrat, Seawright has received endorsements from top Democrats, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
In what some viewed as a bit of a taunting move, Seawright set up her campaign headquarters In the very building where Puliafito works as a Doorman, as first reported by the New York Post.
“We are wanting to be be very visible to the voters,” Seawright explained. “There are a lot of questions about absentee ballots, and applications and where you get them. So, we are very proud of our storefront office.”
“It shows how desperate she is. And how vindictive that is,” Puliafito said. “That’s petty, but hey, it’s funny. It also shows everyone coming out of the woodwork to help her: Schumer, Heastie, Gillibrand. Wow.”
Sources say winning Seawright’s race is one of the top priorities for Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. He’s funneling tens of thousands of dollars to her through the Political Action Committee he controls.