The Democratic Primary campaign of Jeremiah Frei-Pearson announced this morning that it is officially suspending petitioning, effective immediately, over the ongoing public health crisis created by the Coronavirus Global Pandemic. Petitioning requires close, personal contact between strangers and runs directly counter to the recommendations of medical professionals about the need for “social distancing” to help fight the spread of COVID-19.
Frei-Pearson threw his hat into the ring in December for the NYS District 93 Assembly seat to replace Assemblyman David Buchwald, who in turn is running to replace Congresswoman Nita Lowey who is retiring at the end of 2020.
Frei-Pearson has been endorsed by the White Plains Democratic City Committee.
In his Thursday announcement, Frei-Pearson also called on New York State to immediately pass legislation, proposed in the State Assembly, to reduce signature requirements for candidates in this year’s elections. “Our top priority as a community has to be fighting this disease. A small, common-sense, reduction in ballot access requirements might save lives – including, potentially, those of other candidates or volunteers who are members of high-risk groups. Putting public safety over political campaigning is a no-brainer to me.”
Frei-Pearson also forwarded the entirety of his statement to supporters announcing the decision:
“First and foremost, I hope you and your family are well. We are obviously in an uncharted situation with Covid-19 and I urge you to follow guidance from medical professionals, Governor Cuomo, County Executive Latimer, and your local leaders. Wash your hands frequently and if you believe you may be infected call the New York State Covid-19 hotline at 888-364-3605; you can also call the White Plains Hospital’s hotline at 914-681-2900.
“In times like these, state and local political campaigning take a distant backseat to public health. You should know that I, and all volunteers I have heard from, feel fine. At the same time, out of an abundance of caution, my campaign effectively suspended petitioning earlier this week and I am now officially suspending it. I am reaching out to my competitors to encourage them to do the same, and will urge New York State to pass the pending legislation to reduce signature requirements for candidates for public office this year. I love meeting with community members (and I will particularly miss the upcoming Saint Patrick’s Day parades I was supposed to march in), but the safety of our community is far more important than a handshake.”
“Again, I hope you and your family are doing well. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me at any time. These are challenging times, but I know that we in Westchester County will band together, be smart, and ultimately emerge stronger and safer.”