By Sabina Mollot
Sander Hicks, a Brooklyn Democrat who’d been knocked off the ballot — twice — in an attempt to dethrone Congress Member Carolyn Maloney this election season, has now lost a lawsuit he’d filed against the Board of Elections.
Last month, Hicks filed a suit against the BOE after he was removed from the ballot over issues with his petitions. Hicks said he got well over the necessary number of signatures at around 5,500, with 3,500 being required for candidacy, but his petition was rejected because he’d included two addresses on the cover, one his residence and the other his work. The board then sent him a letter informing him he’d have to correct it, although, according to Hicks, he had to guess the problem because he was never told what it was.
A spokesperson for the Board of Elections did not respond to requests for comment.
The letter, Hicks said, was dated August 3, but he only received it a week later, and when he resubmitted the petitions on August 13, he was told he was too late. In response, he filed his lawsuit in the New York City Supreme Court and attended a hearing on August 30.
This week, Hicks said he won’t be appealing the decision, although he was told he could, because he feels the court is just “going by the books.”
He also said he may have misspoken with the judge when telling her he thought the decision to give him only three businesses days to correct the issue with the petitions seemed arbitrary.
“By arbitrary, I meant overly authoritative, pedantic and draconian,” he told Town & Village. The judge responded to Hicks, he said, by saying the decision wasn’t arbitrary because the policy was enforced universally.
“I should have said ‘unreasonable,’” Hicks added.
In a message to his campaign followers, Hicks described the experience.
“It was me solo in court, on Aug. 30, versus three big lawyers from the Board of Elections,” he said. “It felt like a big force out there really didn’t want me on the ballot. They came off like a Kafka-esque NYC agency that cared more about procedures and rules than the spirit of the law.”
So now, Hicks said he plans to run again in 2020, but find a way to amass a bigger war chest, so he can afford a proper election attorney.
Meanwhile, Hicks, who formerly worked as an independent publisher — and now owns a Maspeth-based carpentry business — said he is reviving a political newspaper called The New York Megaphone. He has already completed the draft of a story calling for the impeachment of President Trump, that contains allegations of “sexual improprieties.” He intends to market it towards the voters he was courting, within New York’s 12th Congressional District. The district includes much of Manhattan’s East Side as well as part of Brooklyn and Queens. Hicks also eventually plans some Maloney coverage. (Hicks has openly criticized the 25-year-congress member for her pro-Israel position as well as other issues.) He ran on a platform of helping small businesses and investigating 9/11. He wrote two books alleging government cover-ups relating to the attacks.
Prior to the recent attempt to run, this time as an independent candidate in the general election, Hicks also tried to run as a Democrat in the June primary but had his petitions successfully challenged by another candidate, Suraj Patel.
Maloney’s remaining opponents in the general election are Republican Eliot Rabin and the Green Party’s Scott Hutchins.