|Militant photos by Paul Mailhot (left), Stu Singer (right)|
|Left: Christopher Hoeppner (center), Socialist Workers Party candidate for Congress in New Yorks 9th District, files 7,080 signatures for ballot access July 13twice the required number. With him, from left: Angel Lariscy, campaign director Róger Calero, and Larry Lukehart. Right: Hoeppner joins members of SEIU Local 32BJ on strike picket line in Far Rockaway, Queens, July 11.|
According to election officials, so far Hoeppner was the only candidate whose supporters had filed the thousands of signatures needed to contest for the seat vacated in June by Democratic Party officeholder Anthony Weiner. There remained a few hours until the midnight filing deadline.
The SWP campaign is in the streets and on the picket lines, the socialist candidate said after handing in the petitions. Hoeppner said the campaign is part of discussions with fellow workers who are trying to find ways to fight unemployment, declining wages and rising prices, attacks on immigrants, curtailment of the right of women to decide if and when to bear children, spreading imperialist wars, and cuts to medical care and pensions.
Our campaign is aimed at building solidarity among working people in order to strengthen the ability of the working class to resist these attacks by the capitalist rulers, their government, and their two partiesthe Democrats and Republicans.
The Socialist Workers Party campaign points to the necessity of working people to take political power out of the hands of the billionaire ruling class and begin the struggle to eliminate the exploitation, oppression, and incessant wars that are the product of the capitalist system.
The Socialist Workers candidate is running against Democratic Party politician David Weprin, an attorney and investment banker, and Republican Robert Turner, a retired cable TV executive. Both were selected by officials of their parties, with no petitioning requirement to get on the ballot.
Weprin will actually appear on three ballot linesDemocratic, Working Families, and Independence. Turner will have his name on the ballot twiceRepublican and Conservative. The extra designations are spots on the New York State ballot used by the two major capitalist parties to weight the elections against each other, as well as against any working-class challenge.
The successful effort to collect more than double the required 3,500 signatures to put the SWP candidate on the ballot was planned and executed over a single week. The stingy 13-day window set by Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo to collect such a large number of signatures was so undemocratic that even the New York Times editors felt compelled to run an editorial condemning the governors decision, saying that any outsider seeking ballot would have a fat chance.
Our campaign has been received with interest among working people in Queens and Brooklyn, Hoeppner said. Like workers everywhere, they are feeling the effects of the capitalist crisis, and many are glad to meet a socialist candidate who speaks in the interests of the working class in the elections and uses the campaign to build solidarity for workers fights.
Hoeppner has been interviewed about the Socialist Workers campaign by the New York Observer and The Wave, a local newspaper in Queens.
While collecting nominating petitions, supporters of the campaign sold 504 copies of the Militant newspaper and 22 introductory subscriptions.
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