Statement on the Challenge to My Ballot Petition

I condemn in the strongest possible terms the attempt by a senior member of Carlina Rivera’s home political club to keep me, the only credible challenger, off of the ballot.

Most campaigns this election cycle have refrained from these wasteful challenges in recognition of the fact that we were petitioning during a global pandemic with cases spiking in our City and elsewhere. I and my small army of volunteers, some of whom were seniors, risked exposure to COVID to gather signatures for 24 days, some in the freezing cold and rain.

Most of the challenged signatures were from AD66 and AD74. These signatures were perfectly legible with clear addresses, and many were from people who voted in the November 2020 presidential election — voters who gave me their signatures in their hope for real representation for a change.

What makes this particularly egregious is that the challenge by a member of Carlina Rivera’s club fell during the exact same week that we were seeing extreme voter suppression laws enacted in Georgia and Texas. This is a reminder that it’s not just the GOP that tries to win by controlling the ballot box rather than listening to constituents. Any group of people in power who cannot win on the issues will resort to suppressing the voices of voters in order to cling to that power.

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