Two Mayoral Candidates Face Petition Challenges

He Gin Lee. (Photo: Lee campaign)

He Gin Lee. (Photo: Lee campaign)

The leading Democratic and Republican mayoral candidates gathered more than enough signatures to not draw any challenges to their petitions this cycle, but two minor candidates weren’t so lucky.

He Gin Lee, a Democrat that was booted from the ballot in 2009, is again facing objections, according to a ledger provided by the city’s Board of Elections today. And Sam Sloan, who is trying to create his own ballot line to run on, is enduring a challenge to his GOP petitions, too. 

Mr. Lee is being challenged by a supporter of Comptroller John Liu, Bright Limm. While Mr. Limm said his challenge was not sanctioned by the Liu campaign, Mr. Liu, would likely benefit politically from being the sole Asian-American candidate in the race. (Mr. Liu was born in Taiwan while Mr. Lee hails from South Korea.)

Mr. Limm, president of the Queens-based Korean Americans for Political Advancement, said he felt knocking Mr. Lee off the ballot was justified because Mr. Lee, an architect, isn’t suited for the top job in City Hall.

“Basically, I heard he collected 5,400 signatures and half were questionable. Maybe had 2,5oo for a mayoral petiton which doesn’t show a wide base of support,” Mr. Limm told Politicker this afternoon. “I’d love nothing more than having a qualified Korean-American run for citywide office, especially the top position, but to be truthful, I don’t think he’s qualified.”

“In regards to the petition process,” he added, “for a situation like this, it is justified.”

Mr. Limm’s group, which he said was not behind the challenge, has not made an endorsement in the mayoral race. According to filings, Mr. Limm contributed $175 to Mr. Liu; he said, however, he was considering supporting Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, a Democratic rival of Mr. Liu’s.

Another person, Ellen Kang also objected to Mr. Lee’s petitions. Mr. Limm said he knew Ms. Kang but did not challenge the Lee petitions in concert with her. (Ms. Kang, Mr. Lee and Mr. Liu did not return requests for comment.)

Liu supporters have a history of driving similar-named candidates from the ballot. In his 2003 council race, a man named Jay Liu was kicked off the ballot in a race Mr. Liu would ultimately win, for example.

Mr. Sloan, a chess player and publisher, has run on the Libertarian ticket for mayor before. Both Mr. Sloan and his challenger, Sal Caruso, did not return requests for comment.

Correction: (5:24 p.m.): An earlier version of this post did not specify that Mr. Sloan’s Republican petitions are what is being challenged rather than his third-party ones.

Two Mayoral Candidates Face Petition Challenges