WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Sen. George Latimer (D-Rye) defeated an attempt by incumbent Rob Astorino to deny Latimer the Independence Party ballot line in court yesterday. Latimer was endorsed by the Independence Party earlier this year; he garnered over 1,400 signatures from registered party members, and is now assured of competing on more ballot lines in the November election than any previous Democratic nominee for County Executive, with five lines possible – the Democratic, Working Families, Independence, Women’s Equality, and Reform Parties.
“Rob Astorino has been obsessed with the Independence Party line for years,” said Latimer’s Deputy Campaign Manager Andrew Ferris. “Four years ago, he spent a huge amount of time, energy, and money in an unsuccessful effort to try and steal the line even after the Party had endorsed his opponent. Instead of trying the same strategy this year, he settled for trying to prevent us from getting it. And he failed again, big time.”
The Yonkers Tribune reported that Astorino had incorporated the likes of Yonkersite Nick Castro to file general and specific objections against Senator George Latimer’s Independence Party petitions, in an effort to undermine Latimer’s effort to challenge Astorino in the November 7, 2017 election.
Nick Castro was allegedly engaged to hide Astorino’s name from the paperwork necessary to file the objections. Yonkers Tribune reported they learned of Castro’s connection to Astorino because the return address on the specific objections is Astorino’s lawyer’s address.
Rob Astorino was sued by the Independence Party in the last election when he tried to stack the party with his own people.
“In a close race, victories like this one might be the difference between winning and losing,” Ferris continued. “We’re glad that the courts didn’t let Rob Astorino thwart the will of the Independence Party voters who clearly chose George Latimer as their standard bearer. People across the political spectrum are uniting behind George Latimer’s message of transparency, fiscal responsibility, and ensuring local government represents us – instead of Rob Astorino’s rigidly ideological approach.”
Although Latimer has been endorsed by the Reform Party – which was founded by Rob Astorino four years ago – Latimer will next face a write-in campaign for the Reform Party nomination on September 12th.
Latimer will also have to face County Legislator Ken Jenkins in a September Democratic Primary for the right to challenge Astorino in the General Election, November.