Democrat Rebecca Seawright is in serious jeopardy of losing her Assembly seat representing the Upper East Side for a third term after the state Court of Appeals sided with the Board of Elections to remove her from the ballot for the second time. But she’s determined to find a way back to Albany.
In a 5-2 decision, the court determined that while failing to place cover pages on her petition filings was not a “fatal” error Seawright, the late filing of a certificate of acceptance as the Working Families Party choice past the March deadline was precedent to knock her off the ballot for the upcoming state primary.
While the deadline was March 20, Seawright filed the day prior. The board regarded the missing components as grounds for considering the filings as tardy. Now it is unclear if Seawright will be able to hold her post beyond the Dec. 31, 2020 expiration.
“We will not abandon the right of the voters of the Upper East Side, Yorkville and Roosevelt Island to reject the Trump Republican Party’s candidate for New York State Assembly. As a lifelong Democrat, we are running for re-election on an independent party line,” Seawright said. “As we approach the one hundredth anniversary of the right of women to vote in our nation, we will not be denied the opportunity to place our record of advocacy for our community before the voters. We will be on the election ballot come Nov. 3.”
Seawright told the courts her filing was late due to her experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
A spokesman for Seawright told amNewYork Metro that the she will have some presence on the general election ballot possibly filing as an independent through the October deadline. The spokesman also stressed the fact that two lower courts had sided in Seawright’s favor and that her popularity in the district would carry her through.
Sochie Nnaemeka, Working Families Party New York State Director, went after the basic fact that with the disruptions of the pandemic that the BOE is not offering flexibility to candidates affected by the virus.
“As our families and communities, including candidates across the state, struggled with health and family concerns, it is unfortunate that the Board of Elections has not offered more grace and equity towards candidates like Seawright, whose lives and daily routines were upended by the pandemic,” Nnaemeka said.
As for the city Board of Elections, amNewYork Metro did not receive a response to the comments from Seawright or the WFP before deadline.
Seawright’s district covers Roosevelt Island and Upper East Side and was elected in 2015.