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Embattled Former Mayor In Westchester Barred From City Comptroller Ballot

Former Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas
Former Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas Photo Credit: File Photo

Despite petitioning through much of the spring, former Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas’ attempts to get on the Democratic primary ballot for city comptroller has been rejected by a Supreme Court judge.

Following two days of hearings, state Supreme Court Justice Mary Smith ruled that Thomas’ petition to overturn the Westchester Board of Elections’ rejection of his nominating committee was not specific enough.

Thomas required 300 valid signatures to get on the ballot, with the former mayor having filed petitions with more than 1,000 last month, hundreds of which were challenged by District leaders John Carlo Bautista and Norina Clowney.

It was determined that more than 740 signatures were improperly signed, were not Democrats, or didn’t live in Mount Vernon. The judge’s ruling came after it was reviewed by the Board of Elections, who determined Thomas was short by more than 50 signatures.

On the last day of testimony, Thomas reportedly had dozens of witnesses ready to appear virtually or in-person, though Smith denied that request as well.

“(A) validating petition must specify the individual determinations of a board of elections that the candidate claims were erroneous, including the signatures that the candidate claims were improperly invalidated,” Smith wrote in her ruling.

“Here, the allegations of the amended petition are not sufficient as a matter of law and petitioner’s proffered evidence and presentation failed to bring any clarity to the proceeding. Accordingly, the amended petition (to overturn the Board of Elections) is dismissed.”

Thomas now has to decide whether to appeal the decision or go for a write-in campaign against at least three other candidates for comptroller.

The primary is scheduled for Tuesday, June 22.

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