It’s shaping up to be a busy campaign season, so we’ll probably see more than a few instances of candidates throughout the region crying foul and challenging the petitions of their rivals.
In Mount Vernon, where seven candidates, including two incumbents, are running for three seats on the City Council, we’ve already got our first: Damon K. Jones’ opponents have filed general and specific objections to his petitions for the Democratic line.
Maria Caraballo, one of those opponents, said the petitions are fraudulent, with the same names appearing multiple times.
“It needs to be a fair playing field,” she said. “It’s not fair.”
Jones, meantime, said he would wait for Westchester County election officials to rule on the challenge before talking about it.
“To have to fall to tricks to try to knock me off the ballot, that’s cowardly,” he said.
Reginald Lafayette, the Democratic commissioner of the Board of Elections and the chairman of the county’s Democratic Party, said petition challenges are “typical” of any election year.
He said the commissioners would rule on the challenge after board members had a chance to research the objection.
“It could take a week, it could take three days,” he said.
Jones has also filed petitions to appear on the Independence line. If the challenge is upheld and he can’t run as a Democrat, he said, “it just means I have to work a little bit harder.”