PEEKSKILL, NY – On August 3, 2017, the Westchester Board of Elections announced the disqualification of Nancy S. Vann, County Legislator Candidate for District 1, for the Working Families line in this year’s November election.
It was determined that 60% of the entries on her designating petitions were obtained from individuals not residing in the district. According to Board of Election figures for Westchester County Legislative District 1, a total of 7 qualified signatures/entries are needed to meet the minimum requirement for securing the line for the election. Vann submitted a total of 10. However, when reviewed, it was discovered that 6 of the 10 signatures were not from individuals residing within the district, thus invalidating her as a candidate for the Working Families Party.
“I was really hoping for an election where my opponent wouldn’t attempt some sort of scheme to cheat during the petition process,” County Legislator Testa said. “I am disappointed but not surprised,” Testa added.
When examining the petitions that Vann filed, it was discovered that 5 of the 10 signatures submitted were witnessed by Terence (T.J.) Rogers, the former Peekskill Democratic Party Chairman. The other 5 were obtained by Yorktown Town Board member Vishnu Patel. Incredibly, all 5 of Patel’s entries were invalid and one of Roger’s was also invalid.
“I wish I knew why cheating is such a common and acceptable method of campaigning by candidates supported by the Peekskill Democrats,” said Testa. “It seems to border on pathological at this point. I thought that after being humiliated with their failed scheme two years ago they would have learned their lesson,” said Testa.
In 2015, an elaborate plan to circumvent election law was unhatched by Testa’s then opponent, Derek Hartley. Hartley, along with a number of members of the Peekskill, Cortlandt and Yorktown and Democratic Parties were caught cheating on Democratic Designating Petitions for Hartley. Upon review, the Westchester Board of Elections invalidated the petitions and Hartley’s candidacy.
Sadly, a number of sitting elected Democratic officials, on both the local and county levels, were implicated in the 2015 scheme. Included in that group was Councilman Vishnu Patel of Yorktown, who was caught submitting invalid signatures again this year.Rogers was part of the 2015 scheme as well.
“Vishnu should know better than to attempt this sort of shenanigans again,” said Testa. “The number of valid signatures needed was low, so why cheat? It makes no sense. I think it all stems from the Democratic Party mantra of ‘the ends justifies the means.’ Regardless, I will move forward with a positive campaign and proudly run on my record of accomplishment during my tenure as County Legislator serving Cortlandt, Peekskill and Yorktown,” said Testa.
John G. Testa will appear on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform Party lines in November.