Monday, May 21, 2018

New York Reform Party Will Hold First Statewide Primary in Which New York Independent Voters May Vote

Ballot Access News

The ballot-qualified Reform Party of New York held its state convention on Sunday, May 20. For statewide office in New York, candidates who show some support at the state convention are automatically placed on the party’s primary ballot, with no need for a primary petition. The Reform Party delegates gave enough support to each of four candidates for Attorney General that there will be a 4-way Reform Party primary for that office, if none of the four candidates withdraw.

The Reform Party is exercising its right to invite independent voters to vote in the party’s primaries, so the 2018 Reform Party primary will be the first in New York state history to include any independents who wish to vote in that primary. The Independence Party, which is also ballot-qualified, also lets independents vote in its primaries, but it hasn’t had any statewide office primaries since it adopted that policy.

The Reform Party primary candidates for Attorney General include Preet Bharara, who has not said that he wants to run for Attorney General. He is well-known because President Trump fired him last year from his position as U.S. Attorney for New York. If he doesn’t wish to run, he will withdraw. The other Attorney General candidates are Nancy Regula (a member of the Reform Party), Democratic candidate Michael Diederich, and Libertarian Chris Garvey.

For Governor, the Reform Party convention backed Marc Molinaro, who will probably be the Republican and Conservative nominee also. For Comptroller the Reform Party backs incumbent Democrat Thomas DiNapoli.

The Reform Party only has 360 registered voters, but election officials will be forced to print a very large number of Reform primary ballots because no one can predict how many independent voters will want to choose a Reform Party primary. The primary for state office is September 13.

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