From City Hall News:
Twelve-term Assembly Member Barbara Clark is counting on her old friends Gloria Black and Warrington Canston, two state committee members from Clark’s district in Southeast Queens, to help her win another term in office this year. And she did not let the fact that both Black and Canston are apparently dead deter her from putting their names at the top of her petitions.
Clark’s opponent, Clyde Vanel, a 36-year-old lawyer and former candidate for City Council in 2009, filed a challenge to Clark’s petitions with the Queens Board of Elections last Thursday. He said Clark’s indifference toward the petition-gathering process speaks to a wider sense of apathy in the community he hopes to provoke with his candidacy.
“That’s just ridiculous,” Vanel said. “Barbara’s county committee people, a majority of them don’t even know that they’re on county committee. We’re fighting against something that has historically kept a majority of the community uninvolved and outside the process.”
“Is a dead person a Democrat?” he asked. “I don’t know.”
But Clark could end up skating by without much damage to her re-election efforts. According to the Board of Elections, while it may seem odd to include the deceased on a candidate’s petitions, the signatures that are collected are technically counted as separate for each person on them. Therefore, while the fact that they are deceased makes Black and Canston ineligible for the ballot, as long as Clark herself is living (which she is), there is no legal problem.