White Plains Democrat Kat Brezler received a favorable decision from the Supreme Court Appellate Division in Brooklyn, establishing that her campaign collected the required number of signatures to appear on the Democratic line in the June Primary Election for White Plains Common Council.
“This is not just a victory for my campaign, but for the voters who the establishment attempted to disenfranchise. We are sending a message that business as usual will not be accepted. Voters should have a choice and thanks to today’s decision, they will,” Brezler said.
The campaign’s petitions were challenged on claims that signatures did not match voter registration cards, some of which were over 40 years old. A Westchester County Judge originally ruled that these signatures were invalid, however the Appellate Division found that the Brezler campaign was not given sufficient notice on the nature of the signature challenges. Because this would not allow sufficient time to prepare a defense, the decision was overturned.
One of the opponent’s chief arguments rested on the fact that a subscribing witness, Kimberly Cooley, did not reside at the address she wrote in her witness statement. However, that address, affected by Superstorm Sandy, is currently under construction and resulted in her staying at multiple places while she intends to return to her permanent address. The court ruled that the address was her residence because she has not established a fixed residence elsewhere and the signatures should not have been invalidated.
“I want to thank my incredible legal team for fighting so vigorously and to all of my supporters who never gave up the fight and helped ensure we had the resources to fight this, Brezler said.
Brezler will face off against three candidates endorsed by the White Plains Democratic City Committee in February – incumbent Councilwoman Nadine Hunt-Robinson, who was first elected to the Council in 2014, as well as Victoria Presser and Jennifer Puja.
“The decision by the Appellate Court to reverse the lower court’s decision and put our opponent back on the ballot required reinstating the signatures of voters who do not live in White Plains, or are not registered Democrats, on hyper-technical grounds. We obviously disagree, but there will now be a primary,” said Barry Caro for the White Plains Democratic City Committee.
Shortly after Brezler announced the appeal decision, the League of Women Voters of White Plains announced a Candidates Forum for the Democratic Primary to take place Monday, June 17, 7 to 9 p.m. at the White Plains Public Library auditorium.
The Primary Election is Tuesday, June 25. Polls will be open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.