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First District Council Race: Ballot Bingo

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The last few days we've been following the utterly bizarre hazing ritual candidates for public office must go through in order to qualify for the New York City ballot. A few (emphasis on "few") Lo-Down readers left us comments suggesting that City Council candidate PJ Kim was somehow circumventing the rules. Last Friday, Kim said he submitted petitions with about 5500 signatures to get on the September Primary ballot. One guy alleged that Kim had "loads of signatures from the boroughs and upper Manhattan."  When I asked what evidence he had, the poster (DowntownGuy) responded:

neighbor who went to the Board of Elections told me that he saw many
signatures outside the district, many more than the other candidates
had. Pages and pages, in fact. A few are normal, but not 'pages and
pages'. If you have the time, I respectfully suggest you go to the Board and check it out to get to the bottom.

I took DowntownGuy up on that challenge yesterday. Shuttling between two Elections Board offices on Lower Broadway, I had a look at Pj Kim's petitions. While it's true that there were some signatures from outside the district (not allowed), there were certainly not "loads" of them- not enough to disqualify a candidate submitting more than five times the required number of signatures.

While I was there, I decided to take a look at the objections that had been filed against District 1 Council candidates. Only PJ Kim and Arthur Gregory's petitions appear to face challenges. Interestingly, it seems that at least one of the objections may be tied to operatives from another First District campaign. We'll know more next Monday, when objectors must file  detailed documentation.

As City Hall News explained yesterday, this is politics as usual in New York City: "Some candidate, usually for political
gain (though insisting that the move is simply standing up for
principle), finds a staffer or friend to stand in on a challenge to the

For his part Pj Kim told supporters via Facebook and Twitter, that he had "decided not to challenge the nominating
petitions of any other candidates for this seat. We want our campaign
to be focused on the issues and not on the usual personal political

Stay tuned.

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  1. PJ Kim has bigger problems than his flawed signatures… he was a registered Republican until very recently. He worked on the campaigns of Bill Frist in Tennessee and was a supporter of George Bush in 2004. He also only moved into the district a few months ago. Do I hear Republican carpetbagger??

  2. It is true that he was once a Republican, that he worked for Bill Frist and that he lived on the Upper West Side. It’s also true that he’s worked for non-profits focused on expanding anti-poverty programs. As for the notion that he’s a carpetbagger, I assume you mean that “someone” has put him up to running for City Council, in an effort to hurt another candidate. If you can offer proof of that, we will look into it. In fact, we’ll look into anything about any of the candidates that’s relevant to their ability to represent the people of the First District. But let’s stick to facts, not internet gossip.

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