The Staten Island Advance reported yesterday that the city Board of Elections found that Grimm had not submitted enough signature to qualify for the party’s ballot line. Grimm, who is facing a federal investigation into questionable fundraising practices, described the Independence Party’s endorsement as a “game changer” back in March after he received the party’s nod.
Grimm is facing a challenge from former actor and Congressional scion Mark Murphy. Murphy’s campaign confirmed to City & State that Grimm had lost the party’s ballot line. When reached for comment, Grimm’s camp declined comment and said a statement would be forthcoming. We are still waiting the official word from the BOE.
Losing the Indy Party line could be a serious blow to Grimm’s re-election. Votes on the party’s line often provide the margin of victory to Republicans running in blue New York.
A Republican source close to Grimm said: “The Board of Elections was unable to get us a voter registration list and also the volunteers that we put together did a great job. But the ones we got from the Independence Party seemed to be the source of the problem, as we’re finding out now. It’s a lot harder to get a group of registered Independence volunteers to go door to door.”
The source added, “Other members of the New York delegation had asked for their in finding people to go door to door, and now if you look at it, like Nan Hayworth, Reed, Tonko, I believe, are all in the same position, that their Independence lines are being challenged too.”
UPDATED x 2:
This just in from Mark Murphy’s campaign:
“Michael Grimm has shown himself again to be just another politician who will say whatever it takes to get to Washington and do whatever it takes to stay there. From his pay-to-play politics in Washington to running a rotten to the core petition operation and, of course, the well known alleged investigations into his shady fundraising – Mike Grimm has pulled off a hat trick. This is a faltering campaign that just can’t seem to shoot straight” said Congressional Candidate Mark Murphy’s spokesman Nathan Smith.
The Board upheld the clerk’s decision to keep Murphy on the Working Families Party line, despite a challenge from Grimm. Colin at the Politicker reported that no one from Grimm’s campaign was at the BOE today to uphold the challenge.
UPDATED x 3:
Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay released this statement through Grimm’s campaign:
“Michael Grimm has been our candidate and will continue to be our candidate, as he has proven time and time again that he is not afraid to make the tough decisions that are best for Staten Island and Brooklyn. Regardless of the inadequacies with the signatures, the Independence Party stands with Congressman Grimm and I urge all independent voters to cast their vote for him in November.”
In other words, MacKay is urging Indy Party voters to pull the lever for Grimm on the Republican line.
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