Council Contenders Bumped
Glenn DiResto said last week that the challenging of nominating petitions, by rival candidate Geraldine Chapey, for the upcoming city council special election was an "undemocratic process."
Unfortunately for DiResto, that same "undemocratic process" was exercised this week, which resulted in him and Democratic Party favorite Frank Gulluscio being knocked off the ballot for the February 24 special election to fill the city council seat vacated by Joseph. P. Addabbo Jr.
At Chapey's objection, the New York City Board of Elections determined this week that neither candidate met the specific requirements in regard to their nominating petitions, an essential part of the process by which someone gets on the ballot.
Sam DiBernardo, independent long shot, was also taken off the ballot for having an insufficient number of petition signatures. He reportedly collected approximately 250 signatures, far short of the 1,098 required.
Gulluscio, the former aide to Addabbo, still plans to be on the ballot come February 24 and has not ruled himself out of the race. He expects to appeal in court this Monday.
"We are confident that when we go to court, the thousands of residents of the district who clearly want me to be their next councilman will have their voices heard," Gulluscio said in a statement. "It is a shame that other candidates need to use cheap tricks in an effort to win elections."
DiResto, who's unsure if he, too, will take his case to court, says that he was eliminated because of his party name. The election, which is non-partisan, enables candidates to choose their own non-regis- tered party name, which will appear on the ballot. DiResto says that based on his campaign platform, he chose Families First.
That, according to Chapey's attorney, DiResto states, was the only reason for throwing him off the ballot.
"Chapey's attorney said my party name was too close to the name of the Working Families' party," DiResto said.
Further, DiResto said that the board gave him no chance to change the name and felt that was enough to eliminate him from the ballot.
"There was no intent to deceive anyone here," he continued. "It was just a minor technicality and they should have let me change it."
The final ballot is still subject to change, if Gulluscio or DiResto takes their candidacy to court. However, if the election were to happen today the list would go from the original seven candidates down to four. The election would include Rockaway's two Democratic District Leaders, Lew Simon and Geraldine Chapey as well as Mike Ricatto and Eric Ulrich.
The candidates, including Gulluscio and DiResto, if he challenges in court, will be invited to face off in a special election forum this Monday at 7:00 p.m. at West End Temple, located at 147-02 Newport Avenue. The forum will present an opportunity for the public to ask the candidates questions it considers most important in deciding for whom to vote.