Sander Hicks, a candidate running in New York’s 12th Congressional District, returned from a conference in Iran with a surprise: he failed to qualify for the official Democratic line.

    Hicks was one of two people who failed to verify their petition signatures to appear in the Democratic primary set for June 26. A judge at Kings Supreme Court ruled the campaign did not obtain the required signatures.

    “We fought hard in the courts for three days, but we came up about 100 signatures short,” he said.

    U.S. Rep Carolyn Maloney

    The Brooklyn-based carpenter is challenging U. S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Western Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn), who will face entrepreneur and NYU professor Suraj Patel next month in the primary. The other candidate in the race is Peter Lindner, a computer programmer who failed to acquire sufficient signatures as required by the Board of Elections.

    However, Hicks blamed Patel’s campaign for the challenge that led to removal from the Democratic line. He asserted that Patel was “threatened” by his campaign, leading to the challenge.

    Furthermore, Hicks predicted that Maloney would win her primary against Patel. Yet he felt the platforms of both camps was not as open as his ideas.

    “This campaign creates the opening for the USA to move into a space of cooperation, mutual aid, development, education, freedom, and free capital flows for the public interest,” he said.

    A spokesperson for Patel’s campaign verified they had challenged Hicks’ petitions and Lidner’s petition in court because the Board of Elections would not enforce its own rules. Therefore, the campaign went ahead to challenge the petitions in court.

    Hicks promised to continue running, albeit as an independent candidate not affiliated with either party. Despite the significant obstacles that come with a label, Hicks felt optimistic with the potential of his campaign this year.

    “The New York ‘closed Democratic Primary’ is closed-minded. We prefer to run against Maloney in a race in which we can win over progressive free-thinking Democratic, independent, Green and Libertarian voters. Even GOP voters in NYC will be attracted to my maverick, award-winning accomplishments as a small business man,” he said.

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