ALBANY – A Fordham law professor seeking to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a Democratic primary says she has obtained 25,100 signatures as of today in her bid to get on the Sept. 9 ballot – nearly double the minimum amount needed.
Zephyr Teachout said an army of volunteers and paid canvassers have been working the state the past month gathering signatures from Democrats at public events and going door-to-door at homes of registered Democrats.
But Teachout, a first-time candidate who says she is running because she believes Cuomo has abandoned some of the core progressive principles of the party, knows the governor or his supporters are likely to mount an effort to try to invalidate enough signatures to block her primary path. Forcing a Democratic primary against Cuomo is far from a slam dunk, her supporters caution.
“We anticipate a challenge," she said in an interview. “His campaign will do what it can to keep us off the ballot, directly or indirectly."
State elections law requires Teachout, 42, to gather 15,000 signatures from enrolled Democrats with at least 100 apiece coming from half of the state’s congressional districts. In practice, though, candidates – notably challengers to incumbents - generally try to get at least double or triple the minimum signature level to help withstand New York’s long history of employing a cottage industry of election lawyers who gear up this time of year to help incumbents from both major parties keep challengers off ballot lines.
Teachout said her confidence level is “very high" her campaign will submit at least 45,000 signatures to the state Board of Elections by the July 10 deadline, which her campaign believes is a safe comfort level to get on the ballot. But even reaching that level still means the campaign must ensure it is getting high enough numbers from "geographically diverse'' regions of the state to help withstand the looming challenges expected first at a Board of Elections hearing and finally the courts.
I'd say 45,000 signatures is just the right number to withstand challenges from Dem Party functionaries and Sheriff Andy's goons.
Teachout has a way to go to get there.
You can help:
Petitions can be downloaded here - these directions go with the download:
Help get Zephyr on the ballot!
To make sure Zephyr's name appears on the November ballot we need 15,000 signatures of registered Democrats turned in to the NY Board of Elections (in person or by mail) before July 7th.
Just download the PDF below, fill out the information at the bottom of the sheet and leave the page number blank. Please send all completed sheets to our campaign headquarters.
Finally, you can donate to Zephyr Teachout here.