- The Erie County Green Party is disgusted by the actions of local Republican operatives who have taken advantage of the COVID-19 crisis to place fake candidates on the ballot.
On Saturday March 14th Governor Cuomo cut short this year’s petitioning period for public office and drastically reduced the number of signatures required to get candidates on the ballot. This was the correct decision for the safety of the public as going door-to-door during a pandemic could result in a potentially fatal illness for both petition gatherers and the people who sign those petitions.
Local Republicans however put dirty political tricks ahead of public safety and spent Sunday, March 15th knocking on the doors of Green Party members in a last-minute effort to place fake Green Party candidates on the ballot.
So far, two petitions have been filed with the board of elections with signatures witnessed by Republican operatives for candidates that are entirely unknown to the Erie County Green Party.
A petition for a candidate named Rubin Cartagena Jr was filed for the 146th Assembly District. The signatures on this petition were witnessed by Ross M. Kostecky, a Republican Erie County Legislature staff member and himself a candidate for the 60th Senate District. The fact that a current candidate for office would endanger the public health by going door-to-door during this crisis is particularly appalling.
A second petition was filed in the 143rd Assembly District. This petition is for Michael A. Miller, who appears to be a newly registered voter recruited for the sole purpose of stealing the Green Party line. This petition was carried by Jesse Prieto, an employee in the office of New York State Republican Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesseprprieto)
In a normal year the filing of these petitions would be a disgraceful attempt to manipulate the election process. To do it this year under the current conditions shows how morally bankrupt the local Republican Party has become.