A state assemblywoman may be barred from seeking re-election because she failed to include a cover sheet with her latest paperwork, sources told The Post.
Rebecca Seawright, who represents 133,000 constituents in the 76th District on the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, failed to include the cover sheet when she submitted her petitions confirming that she had collected enough Democratic voter signatures to get on the ballot, the sources said.
She also didn’t have a signed “certificate of acceptance” to allow her to run under the Working Families Party, they said.
Seawright could be prevented from running for re-election in the seat she has held since 2014 because the Board of Elections’ legal staff is recommending she be knocked off the ballot for the violation, the sources said.
The board is due to hear her case on Tuesday.
Her opponent, Republican Lou Puliafito, has also filed a legal challenge in Manhattan Supreme Court to prevent her from running.
“Theoretically, this is something that is not curable. If board members follow the law, Seawright is in trouble,” said one board member, who requested anonymity so as not to be accused of prejudging the lawmaker’s case.
“It’s very unusual for something like this to happen to an incumbent,” the member said of Seawright’s errors.
Seawright missed some crucial time during the petition gathering period last month because she was ill with what her campaign says were “Covid-like symptoms,” but still comfortably got more than enough signatures to get on the ballot, the sources say.
Although she didn’t have the virus, it could be her one hope for salvation, if officials decide to relax the usually strict regulations because of the chaos the pandemic has caused, the sources say.
Insiders point out that other regulations have been relaxed, including the number of signatures required to get on the ballot. The minimum was reduced from 500 to 150.
“You can’t underestimate the COVID pandemic for our lives in general,” the source on the board said.
In a statement to The Post, Seawright’s campaign said: “Like so many New Yorkers upended by the Covid-19 pandemic, Rebecca contracted an infectious and contagious virus with Covid-like symptoms and was placed under doctors’ care precisely at the time the filing was due.”
“Assemblymember Seawright . . . has retained legal counsel to ensure that every voice is heard. Voters from the Upper East Side, Yorkville and Roosevelt Island must not be denied their right to consider her candidacy on the Democratic Party line in the June 23 primary elections,” it continued.
Puliafito, 62, said “there’s no excuse” for Seawright not to file her cover sheet with her petitions.
“Seawright had the Democratic machine behind her. She could have reached out to someone to help her,” Puliafito said.
“It’s a shame that she was sick but that’s no excuse for her not to delegate someone to do it for her. She handed in her voter signatures to the election board didn’t she?”
Puliafito, an apartment building doorman, also said he too was self-quarantined with COVID-like symptoms from March 24 to April 15.
“Rebecca Seawright is a dedicated public servant, a good Democrat committed to moving our state forward and a reliable partner in fighting for New York families. During the current COVID-19 outbreak, she had worked to get nurses and doctors in her district the PPE they need to fight the virus safely,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) said in a statement.
“She is also a champion for women, ensuring critical screenings are covered by insurance companies and passing the Equal Rights Amendment in the Assembly. Rebecca is a colleague, a friend and a trusted part of our team.“