Ballot Battles Break Backs

Board of Elections thins the menu voters get to dine from on September 13

It's only August 5th, so the campaign for mayor, city council, and other municipal offices is far from—except perhaps for those candidates bounced from the ballot during Board of Elections hearings this week, people like Jose I. Adames, who sought but did not gain a spot in the Democratic primary.

The Democratic mayoral ballot now contains six names, but the first name voters will see on September 13th won't be Virginia Fields, Freddy Ferrer, Gifford Miller, or Anthony Weiner. Thanks to the alphabet, it will be Christopher X. Brodeur, the guy who ran with a bag over his head in 1997 and as a Green in 2001 (he lost in the primary), and has been in the news more recently for getting tossed out of the 9-11 hearings and a party at Gracie Mansion. Also on the Democratic ballot is Arthur Piccolo, of the Bowling Green Association.

Brodeur, an articulate if slightly manic guy who knows how to fire up a crowd and has a populist list of 100 policy ideas, has been pressing to be included in more candidate forums that feature that four best-known candidates. He believes that nonprofits are violating their legal responsibility to be nonpartisan when they omit particular candidates, especially those who have legally qualified for the ballot. The fact that only six Democrats remain on the ballot might strengthen his case. (An independent candidates forum featuring Brodeur and some of his rivals will be held next Wednesday, August 10, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The Tank, 208 West 37th St at 7th Ave. Tracie McMillan of City Limits magazine and yours truly will be asking the questions).

The hearings this week have also thinned the field in City Council District 2, although not as much as Rosie Mendez and her supporters in the progressive club Coalition for a District Alternative had hoped. Facing a crowded field, Mendez supporters challenged the ballot petitions of five candidates; some accused her campaign of playing demographic politics by targeting Latinos and women.

According to the latest candidate list from the Board of Elections, candidates Manuel Cavaco, Claudia Flanagan, and Michael Lopez were bounced from the ballot, but Joan Brightharp and Mildred Martinez survived. Brightharp, Lopez and Martinez still have open cases before state court, however, so the situation could change. Flanagan says she plans to get on the November ballot as a Libertarian Party. Cavaco, who told the Voice his bid for the Democratic line was just a joke, is still opposing Mendez on the Working Families Party line. Mendez, Michael Beys, Darren Bloch, Brian Kavanagh, Chris Papajohn, and Gur Tsabar remain on the Democratic ballot.

Meanwhile, former City Councilman Tom Ognibene lost his bid to challenge Michael Bloomberg for the GOP nomination and will appear instead on the Conservative line. And Kevin Finnegan will be the name on the Working Families Party's mayoral line, because the party was too split to endorse anyone.

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