As of today, seven independent or semi-independent candidates for the office of governor of New York have submitted claims for ballot lines in the form of collections of signatures in excess of the minimum total required by law. Barring challenges to these seven, as many as nine candidates will appear on the November ballot, including Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo and Conservative candidate (and Republican claimant) Rick Lazio. Should Lazio win the Republican primary, Carl Paladino has promised not to contest the general election on his newly created Taxpayers line.
Local papers acknowledged only two of this week's successful petitioners: Green candidate Howie Hawkins and Libertarian candidate Warren Redlich -- Paladino had turned in his Taxpayers petitions earlier this month. Joining these three independents are Kristin Davis, representing the Anti-Prohibition Party; Charles Barron, representing the Freedom Party; Jimmy McMillan, representing the Rent is 2 Damn High Party; and Steven Cohn, representing the TEA Party, whose petitions have not yet been accepted by election officials.
A number of additional independent parties are skipping the gubernatorial race to focus on winning representation in Congress or the state legislature. Bruce Blakeman seeks to challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on a new Tax Revolt Party line, while James Germalic has petitioned for a Black/White Party line to challenge Sen. Charles Schumer. Tax Revolt has also petitioned to contest two congressional districts, two state senate districts and one assembly district. The Anti-Prohibitionists, Greens, Libertarians and Taxpayers are challenging both U.S. Senators, while Rent is 2 Damn High is running Joseph Huff against Gillibrand. Libertarians are running in four congressional districts, the Taxpayers and Constitution Party in one apiece, and the sole candidate of the New York Moderates Party is running in the 24th District. Appearing in legislative races are two candidates from the Change Albany Now Party and one apiece from the Fix Albany Party, the Had Enough Party, the Common Sense Party and the Little Party. For more information about who's running where, check the official list of independent petitioners. In the coming weeks I intend to profile as many of these independent parties as possible. For now, I congratulate all of them, regardless of ideology, for making it this far into the game.