Petitioning suspended for congressional race

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

Multiple candidates running for the Congressional seat in District 12, including incumbent Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, suspended petitioning last week in order to protect the public during the COVID-19 pandemic shortly before the governor suspended all petitioning on Saturday. 

Candidates Lauren Ashcraft and Peter Harrison also signed an online petition calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to suspend or reduce petitioning requirements in response to coronavirus fears and the governor signed an executive order suspending the candidate petitioning process on Tuesday at 5 p.m. for the June primaries for Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly and Judicial races. The order also modified signature requirements for ballot access. Candidates will only need to collect 30% of the statutory threshold. For Congress, candidates would need 375 signatures instead of 1,250.

Maloney issued a statement on Thursday announcing that she would be suspending petitioning.

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Maloney challenger Erica Vladimer ending campaign

Erica Vladimer (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

District 12 congressional candidate and Upper East Side resident Erica Vladimer is ending her bid to replace incumbent Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. Vladimer announced the end of her campaign in an emailed statement to supporters last Friday.

Vladimer said that she made the decision after difficulties fundraising and also due to a struggle with health issues, partially due to a lack of insurance since she’s been campaigning.

“Knowing myself personally, and knowing that anything I chose to do, I want to do my best, I realized that I couldn’t do that and didn’t feel comfortable with that,” she said of the overall decision.

Vladimer said that for a newcomer like herself, it was difficult to get momentum against Maloney, who already has a fundraising base as an incumbent congresswoman.

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JP Morgan Chase employee running against Maloney

Lauren Ashcraft at one of her comedy benefits, pictured on an evening she raised money for survivors of 9/11 (Photo by Kristen Wilson)

By Sabina Mollot

On the heels of what was the most competitive primary race Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney faced in about a decade last year, another millennial who’s never held office is now also attempting to unseat the 25-year incumbent.

Lauren Ashcraft, a Turtle Bay resident who works as a project manager for JP Morgan Chase, officially launched her Congressional campaign at the end of March.

Since then, the 30-year-old Democrat has been raising some small donations (around $2,500 so far) from those who like her elevator pitch promising to get big money out of politics.

“I feel it’s a central issue because progressive issues are stalled because it,” said Ashcraft, who has pledged not to take any corporate or superPAC money. Her donations have been mostly in the $50 range, but she’s hoping her campaign will be taken seriously with the help of a volunteer staff of 15 and by getting a head start. The Democratic Congressional primary isn’t until 2020 and candidates won’t even have to start petitioning until next year.

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