Today’s news:

In Schack’s corner

To The Editor:

I write with regard to comments attributed to Jeannie May in Stephen Witt’s article entitled, “Nurse finds politics rough.”

In the interest of fairness and disclosure, I will begin by saying that I have known Dilia Schack since 1990, and I consider her to be a friend and someone whose candidacy I actively support.

Under our current law, anyone who seeks to run for district leader must collect and submit a minimum of 500 petition signatures from his, or her, fellow party members who live in the district. To my knowledge, there are no provisions that would permit a candidate to, either opt out, or secure, an exemption from these minimum requirements. Furthermore, the law outlines the manner in which petition signatures may be gathered, and what qualifies as a “valid” signature.

According to the article, Ms. May stated that “perhaps 10 to 15 percent of the names she collected are not registered Democrats who reside in the district, as mandated to get on the ballot.” Yet she, erroneously, concludes that she still possesses a sufficient number of petition signatures and that the challenge against her nominating petitions should be dropped. This is clearly demonstrated by Ms. May’s use of the word “perhaps,” which does not take into account those signatures which may have been improperly collected and suggests that she has no real idea of how many “valid” signatures her campaign actually secured.

Ms. May is right in saying that it is up to the people to decide which candidate(s) best serve their needs. However, before that happens, she, like any other candidate, should be required to demonstrate that she has secured the minimum number of petition signatures required to qualify for the ballot.

Finally, Ms. May’s protests are without merit and ring hollow as she apparently failed to collect the required amount of valid petition signatures. Furthermore, it should be noted that despite her claims to the contrary, Ms. May initiated the process of challenging petitions when she filed her general objections against the petitions collected for and on behalf of Dilia Schack on July 8 –two full days before Ms. Schack submitted her objections to the Board of Elections with regard to Ms. May’s petitions.

Brian L. Gotlieb

Coney Island

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