Board of Elections Tosses Staten Island BP Candidate Luthmann Off Ballot

By Nicholas Rizzi on July 31, 2013 12:25pm 

 Democratic borough president candidate Richard Luthmann has been tossed off the ballot after the Board of Elections ruled he was 171 signatures short of the 2,000 required.
Democratic borough president candidate Richard Luthmann has been tossed off the ballot after the Board of Elections ruled he was 171 signatures short of the 2,000 required.
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RichardLuthmann.com

STATEN ISLAND — Democratic borough president candidate Richard Luthmann has been tossed off the ballot — but he plans to head to court to fight the decision.

The Board of Elections on Tuesday voted that the dapper candidate didn’t have enough petitions to qualify to run for the office.

The BOE found that Luthmann was short 171 of the 2,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot.  Most of the petitioners not included in the tally were cited for incorrect addresses or not being registered to vote, Luthmann explained.

He said that many of the more than 400 uncounted signatures were rejected because the BOE’s records for voters have not been updated, especially for voters affected by Hurricane Sandy.

“Especially because of Hurricane Sandy, a lot of people have been displaced and those votes should count,” Luthmann said. “We're confident that we can find our 171 that we can get on the ballot.”

Despite being dumped from the ballot, Luthmann vowed to head to Staten Island Supreme Court Thursday to try to overturn the BOE’s decision.

Luthmann has a three-day window to file an action against the board's decision, but said he’s had trouble getting records from the BOE to look over.

“I expected pushback; I didn’t expect it to be as outlandish as it was,” he said. “They have stonewalled us here in Staten Island.”

Luthmann believes that the objection and rejection of the petition was a way for the Democratic party in Staten Island to keep him off the ticket so the party-backed candidate, Lou Liedy, could run unopposed.

"It's not a big surprise they're trying to keep me off the ballot," Luthmann previously told DNAinfo New York. "They try at all costs to exclude me from party events, to cast me in a bad political light."

However, both the Democratic party and Liedy said they're not trying to keep Luthmann off the ballot at all.

"Some people think they're legends in their own mind, and if they want to continue thinking that, that's there own right," said Kevin Elkins, executive director of the Staten Island Democratic party.

Liedy said that the only reason Luthmann's off the ticket is because of his petition, not any political leanings of the judges.

"He's keeping himself off the ticket by not doing the petition's properly," Liedy said.

"The integrity of these judges should never be questioned. Once they become a judge, they're a judge."

The BOE did not respond to comments for this story.

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