New York City

Is Rebecca Seawright Out in 2020?

Is Rebecca Seawright out as the 76th District NYS Assembly Member? A technical error may ban her from the ballot for this year.

Reporting by David Stone

In a stunning turn of events, we learned Saturday that popular Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright may be banned from the ballot for this year’s election.

Seawright’s represented the 76th District since 2014, covering the Upper East Side, Yorkville and Roosevelt Island. She won reelection handily in 2016 and 2018.

Get local: Roosevelt Island News

Seawright Open to RIOC Residency
Seawright helped cut the ribbon when Nisi reopened on Roosevelt Island in 2017.

Saturday morning, Lou Puliafito, who ran against Seawright in 2018, delayed my smoked salmon bagel with a text message:

“Rebecca Seawright failed to submit a cover sheet. A suit was filed to remove her from the ballot for the dem and wfp lines. If successful, I will be the only one from a major party on the ballot.”

While my bagel idled, I deciphered his shorthand.

dem = Democratic Party. wfp = Working Families Party.

Lou Puliafito
Lou Puliafito, shown here while running on the Reform Party line, in 2018.

Puliafito runs on the Republican line, this year.

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Will a Coronavirus-like Episode Save Rebecca Seawright?

The question of whether or not Rebecca Seawright is out hinges on coronavirus exceptions.

“If board members follow the law, Seawright is in trouble,” an anonymous board of elections member told the New York Post. Failing to provide a cover sheet “is not curable,” he added.

The cover sheet must be part of the package confirming a candidate has enough valid signatures on her election petition.

A “certificate of acceptance” from the Working Families Party was also missing. WFP’s a minor party but sometimes critical in close elections. It might’ve kept her on the ballot, if she loses her appeal on Tuesday.

Seawright says she lost valuable time because of coronavirus-like symptoms, last month. Although she did not test positive, that, she says, contributed to the error.

The board relaxed some other regulations, in this exceptional year, and the incumbent rests her hopes on one more.

Known as a champion for women, Seawright retained counsel for the fight while Puliafito filed in Supreme Court to block her.

4 replies »

  1. I know it’s difficult for Democrats to understand in this town but occasionally, every once and a while. The law is the law. She’s out.

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