After former Rockland County executive
candidate Ilan Schoenberger conceded the Democratic primary to David Fried, he
said he was seeking to get his name off the November ballot on the Independence
and Working Families lines. He said the way to remove his name was for the
parties to nominate him for a different race but an elective position that he
did not intend to campaign for.
That plan drew criticism from Republican county executive candidate Ed Day who said it is a flaw in the system that allows Schoenberger’s name to be added to the ballot for Supreme Court justice race in another part of the state. Day said it is an infringement on people’s rights and disenfranchisement of voters that someone’s name could appear on the ballot even though he has no intention of actively running for the position.
“This entire maneuver is a betrayal of our very way of life, and I have and will continue to call them out on it,” Day said
Schoenberger said once his name was removed from the Independence and Working Families ballots, the vacancies committees of those parties could appoint a different candidate. He said he had been speaking with them about the possibility of nominating Fried for that line.
Day said although he had carried the Independence Party nomination in all three of his elections and the Working Families Party nomination in his most recent election, he would not accept the nominations for the county executive contest and asked his opponent to do the same.
“I challenge Mr. Fried here and now to join me and turn down any attempt to be placed on the Working Family or Independence Party lines, and not to be part of an insult to each and every member of this community,” said Day. “To not make this stand now simply means that he is a willing partner of a corrupt system that needs to be dismantled immediately, and I would like to think he is better than that.”
The campaign managers for both candidates discussed the matter. Fried’s campaign issued the following statement.
"Ilan Schoenberger no longer wants to be a candidate for Rockland County Executive – as such, he is taking the necessary legal steps to end his campaign entirely,” said Fried. “Should the Independence and Working Families Party choose to reopen their nomination processes, I'd be willing to participate."
Day said he spoke directly with Schoenberger and emphasized his criticism was not personal but was about the system that permitted such a move.
“It’s a quirk in the system,” he said.