Mount Vernon — Councilwoman Delia Farquharson received a letter from the Westchester County Board of Elections (see below), Monday, March 25th that her name will not appear on the ballot as a candidate for Mayor of Mount Vernon in the June 25th Democratic Primary. In the letter, the BOE state they determined the petition filed on Tuesday, March 19th was ‘not filed timely.’
Councilwoman Farquharson informed Black Westchester that she and her attorney, intend to be at the BOE at 111 am Thursday morning, March 28th to address this matter. “The actions and decisions of the BOE are clearly violating my rights,” Councilwoman Farquharson tells BW.
Farquharson’s attorney Pierre Gooding, a New York City Council candidate in 2017 says it’s absurd for the BOE to send out such a letter 5 days before petitions can be entered.
“For the BOE to send a letter stating that City Councilwoman Farquharson will not make the ballot 5 days before petitions can even be entered is absurd,” Gooding shares with Black Westchester. “They cannot possibly predict what we will do with future petitions and should not be pre-determining candidate outcomes. Even if you give the BOE the benefit of the doubt at every single point, what If we come in with a 1,000 new signatures, do they not count? There is clear case law which I cited which stands for the proposition that the cover sheets can be amended and it is that date which is the date the petition is entered. We have had no chance to enter those amended cover sheets, including with different volume numbers or any number of other corrections which can be made at the candidates choosing. It is also clear that there is a difference in the law between filing late and early. In one case, the determination letter stated their were not enough signatures to make the ballot. This determination letter could not possibly be made or sent prior to the statutory deadline to turn in more petitions. There is no case where the BOE has done this, because they are making up their own rules. In another case, the judge allowed early petitions because it was the clear intent of legislators to keep the office open. In this case, it is also clear that it was the intent to give a candidate the opportunity to cure, not to hold petitions hostage in a game of gotcha. There is no policy rationale, caselaw or statute supporting the proposition that is currently occurring.”
Farquharson is in her second year on her first term in the Mount Vernon City Council. She announced via video on social media (see below), Thursday, February 7th, that she will be running for mayor of Mount Vernon in the upcoming Democratic Primary in June.
Farquharson vows to fight the BOE decision and tells Black Westchester she will be on the ballot.
“There are 7 days remaining in the petitioning period,” Farquharson shares. “The BOE would need to have supernatural powers to be able to categorically state that I am not a candidate for Mayor of Mount Vernon. I think that is a ridiculous assumption. I believe holding my petitions hostage stems from the fear that with me on the ballot I am likely to win.”
If elected Councilwoman Farquharson would make history as the first female elected mayor in the city. If she does make the ballot Councilwoman Farquharson will face Mayor Richard W. Thomas, Council President Andre Wallace, former Mount Vernon Planning Commissioner Shawyn Patterson-Howard, former Mayor Ernest Davis, former Mount Vernon Police Commissioner and 2017 City Council Candidate Clyde Isley (Mount Vernon City Democratic Committee Nominee), and jail attendant Carlo Jean-Baptiste, Sr in the upcoming Democratic Primary in June.
Stay tuned to Black Westchester for more on this developing story.
[Article updated 8:25am Thursday, March 28th to include quote from the councilwoman given after article ran.]