BROOKLYN — Those unique taglines public advocate candidates are parading as Party names aren’t special enough, apparently.
Eight of the 23 candidates running for public advocate have to change their Party name because of a Board of Elections (BOE) rule that suggests two names on a ballot with similar wording would confuse voters during the Feb. 26 election.
According to Election Law section 6-138(3), a candidate cannot have the same name or part of the name of a previously filed independent candidate in the same election.
Michael A. Blake filed first under the “For the People” Party. Therefore any candidate filing after him with the word “People(s)” in their Party name must choose another one.
Latrice Walker who’s running under the “People For Walker” will have to change her name as will Jumaane Williams who chose “The Peoples Voice.” Ron Kim’s “People Over Corporations” party will get tweaked and so will Nomiki D. Konst’s “Pay People More”.
Mike Zumbluskas also has to change his party name because it’s too similar to Melissa Mark-Viverito’s who filed first. Mark-Viverito is running under the “Fix the MTA” while Zumbluskas’ version reads “FIX MTA & NYCHA NOW,” in all caps.
“I’ve been doing this for decades so I knew this was going to happen but I thought I would turn my end first,” Zumbluskas told Bklyner.
To make everything a little more confusing, The Liberal Party of New York endorsed Rafael Espinal Wednesday when Gary Popkin is running on the so-called “Liberal” party line. Popkin can do so because the actual Liberal Party lost their automatic ballot access in 2002 when Gov. Andrew Cuomo dropped out of a gubernatorial race as the Democratic nominee but remained under the Liberal Party. The party failed to secure the 50,000 votes needed to maintain its ballot access status.
Sources say Popkin, a Libertarian, faces a challenge for using the “Liberal” Party name.
And then there’s the issue of character count. According to BOE officials, candidates must stay within a 15-character limit. Benjamin Yee, running on the “Community Empowerment” line will have to make some adjustments. Ydannis Rodriguez must curtail his “United For Immigrants” name choice. The same goes for Anthony Herbert and his “Housing Residents First.”
Candidates have until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18 to change their party’s name before getting kicked off the ballot.
Do you have name suggestions for the candidates? Tell us about it.