New York City

Seawright Ballot Appeal Fails

A last chance appeal to secure her spot on the Democratic ballot line failed Rebecca Seawright yesterday. The board of elections said, “No.” Unanimously.

By David Stone

Rebecca Seawright Ballot Appeal Fails

April 21st, 2020 — The board of elections rejected arguments by state assembly member Rebecca Seawright that would put her name on this year’s ballot. The vote was unanimous.

See: Is Seawright Out for 2020?

The incumbent candidate failed to add cover sheets to her ballot petitions for the Democratic Party line. Required paperwork for the Working Families Party also had fatal flaws, denying her the minor party line as well.

Rebecca Seawright at Nisi reopening.
A frequent visitor to Roosevelt Island, Seawright helped cut the ribbon for Nisi’s reopening in December, 2017.

But Seawright was defiant.

Get local: Roosevelt Island News

Her appeal claimed the failures resulted from her suffering a “COVID-like” illness in March. But not a single board member bought it.

Vowing an appeal to the State Supreme Court and, also, an independent run, Seawright said, “My Republican opponent’s backdoor effort to sabotage my supporters will not prevail.”

She offered no evidence that Republican Lou Puliafito sparked the board’s action. Puliafito also challenged Seawright in 2018.

She also accused the board of disenfranchising “each and every voter” in her district.

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Lou Puliafito benefits for failure of Seawright's ballot appeal.
Republican challenger Lou Puliafito during 2018 campaign.

But Puliafito attorney, Ezra Glaser, observed, “This is the lamest excuse of I’ve ever heard,” referring to her “COVID-like” defense.

Although her ballot appeal failed for purely technical reasons, Seawright slammed the board’s decision as “shameful pandemic politics,” according to a report in the New York Post.

Puliafito’s reaction was level.

“I will work tirelessly to earn the support and respect of all Democrats, Republicans, and Independents on Roosevelt Island and the entire 76th Assembly District,” he told the Roosevelt Island Daily.

Seawright’s Remaining Ballot Options

With their party line now blank for both primary and general elections, Democrat prospects appear bleak. Their only hope rests on a successful Supreme Court appeal, but that’s a long shot. And Puliafito is already challenging it.

Seawright also vowed to collect enough signatures to qualify as an independent for the November general election, but there’s one big choking point on that.

By executive order, Governor Cuomo banned collecting signatures as part of battling the spread of the coronavirus.

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