I decided to run for Babylon Town Council, when I discovered there was no Democratic candidate running for an open seat on the Town Board. I approached Suffolk County Democratic Chair and Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer, who told me he had made a commitment months ago to the Independence Party to support the candidate on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines, and to not run a Democrat.
I believe that Elections are an important opportunity for voters to express their interests, and it’s critical in a democracy to provide voters with a choice.
I was honored to be endorsed by the Working Families Party, and we began collecting signatures to secure a position on the Democratic Party Line. After I announced my candidacy, I was informed that the Democratic Party had decided to support Claire McKeon, who has worked with Chairman Schaffer for 32 years. I spoke with Chairman Schaffer and told him that now that the party was supporting a Democratic candidate, I would suspend my campaign and help elect Claire.
I am beyond disappointed to learn that McKeon did not submit signatures to secure the Democratic line on the ballot, guaranteeing that voters will once again be denied a choice in an election in Suffolk County.
Now more than ever, when working families are under attack, it is vital that the Democratic Party shows people that we are on their side. This deal-making, whether it’s a Town of Babylon council seat, a county-wide law enforcement position, or a state legislative seat is an affront to voters.
While I am extremely disappointed by what has happened here, let me be clear, I am not discouraged. I know that there are incredible leaders in the activist community and thousands of voters across Long Island who want real change. We want a Democratic Party that stands on principle, and is dedicated to competing for every winnable seat with a bold message of fighting for working families. I am more committed than ever to that fight.
That’s the way Democrats win again!