The 2020 presidential election may be more than a year away, but now is actually the time when everyday Americans can have the largest impact in the decision of who will replace the current Divider-In-Chief. Over two dozen well-qualified people are competing to become the Democratic nominee. It can be hard to select one person as your preferred candidate, so many people wait until closer to the election before getting involved.
But, your early support helps to ensure that our candidate gets selected by the people instead of big donors or party committees. So, the next time you hear a candidate say something that you like please consider going online to their campaign site and giving them $5 or buying a bumper sticker. Donations to committees and the party do help, but direct donations to candidates are better as they keep the decision making power in your hands.
Check out the following ProPublica article that describes another case of corporate lobbying and big campaign contributions leading to bipartisan failure to make lives better for Americans. Sadly, politicians on both sides of the aisle have accepted millions of dollars in donations from the Income Tax Preparation Industry and are now poised to make it illegal for the IRS to provide their own online software that could make tax filing free for everyone.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez commented on this topic as well: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6913879/Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez-says-time-IRS-prepare-taxpayers-returns.html#v-1062864116847916601
When you look to support the progressive cause please take the time to make sure that your support and money go to candidates who work for the people, not the special interests. Seek out good candidates and support them directly – especially those who won’t accept corporate donations. Too many committees and PACs will blindly support incumbents, so be careful.
Running for office in New York has changed a lot in 2019. The consolidation of primaries for federal and state elections into a single day should help give voters more say in choosing candidates and improve turnout. One challenge in running for local and state office is that now candidates need to pass petitions in late winter / early spring instead of summer. So, the time to start is now!
If you are a Democrat and you want to run for an office as a Democrat then you just need to pass a petition and gather signatures from Democrats that are registered in the area that the office represents. You don’t need permission from anyone else in the party – just your enthusiasm and energy. You can find out more about petitions both from the State Board of Elections, elections.ny.gov, and the Orleans County Board of Elections, orleansny.com/Elections.
For 2019 the first day for signing designating petitions is February 26 and the dates for filing designating petitions are April 1 – 4. But, as always, refer to the Board of Elections as the official source for information like this.
Here are a few tips on petitions. First, get extra signatures as people can challenge petitions. It is very common that a MINIMUM of 25% of the signature lines have some issue that can be challenged. Second, review your petitions carefully before submission to make sure that all the pages are filled out correctly – as entire pages and the whole petition can be challenged. It would be a good idea to have an experienced person help you review your petitions.
If more than one Democrat has petitions accepted at the Board of Elections for the same office then those candidates will be listed on the primary ballot. Hooray – Democracy in action.
Run for Town office. Run for County office. Run for State office. Run for Federal office. It is your right. Good luck!