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Harlem Council Candidate Taken Off Absentee Ballots After Party Name Flub

By Dartunorro Clark | January 20, 2017 3:18pm | Updated on January 23, 2017 9:48am
 Assemblywoman Inez Dickens endorsed candidate Larry Scott Blackmon, who is running to replace Dickens, at an event on Thursday, Jan. 19
Assemblywoman Inez Dickens endorsed candidate Larry Scott Blackmon, who is running to replace Dickens, at an event on Thursday, Jan. 19
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DNAinfo/Dartunorro Clark

HARLEM — A candidate vying to represent Harlem in the City Council won't be listed on absentee ballots.

The City Board of Elections ruled that Larry Scott Blackmon's listing of the "Harlem Family Party" as his affiliation for the Feb. 14 special election was too similar to a different group, the "Working Families Party."

Commissioners said Thursday that it would cause confusion as it uses the “same root word as the existing party,” citing election law.

Blackmon, who is running for the 9th Council District which covers Harlem and parts of the Upper West Side, can appeal at a Jan. 31 hearing, but military and absentee ballots will have already been sent by that time.

The candidate, a vice president at FreshDirect and a former deputy commissioner for the Parks Department, recently received a key endorsement from Assemblywoman Inez Dicken, who previously held the 9 Council District seat.

The BOE noted similar cases, such as one from 2009 where Glenn DiResto, a retired NYPD officer, was running in the 32nd Council District and chose ‘Families First” as his ballot line which officials said was too close to “Working Families Party.”  

In a statement, Blackmon’s campaign said, "We have a team of the best election lawyers on our side and look forward to the hearing.

“We are still on the ballot for February 14th, we are campaigning hard day and night and we are redoubling our efforts to reach voters.

"We remain fully committed to our work on behalf of the Harlem community and are confident that this matter will ultimately be resolved in our favor.”​

Watch the BOE meeting below: