City Councilman Charles Barron says he has 43,000 signatures to get onto the statewide ballot in order to challenge the NY Democrats' "all-white" slate. According to the Daily News, a triumphant Barron said of his new party, the Freedom Party, "This party is a black- and Latino-led party that is open up to everybody. If we take care of blacks and Latinos, the state will be better off."
Barron announced his bid for governor with the Freedom Party back in June, a few weeks after gubernatorial candidate (and frontrunner) Andrew Cuomo announced his running mate was Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy. Yesterday, Barron said, “No longer are we going to allow the Democrats to take the black vote for granted, Republicans to ignore us or the white progressives on the left to use us. No longer will we let this state be quiet on race. Race matters. Racism permeates every institution in this state, and we're gonna let it be known loud and clear."
However, his Council colleague Lew Fidler tells the Daily Politics that if Cuomo doesn't challenge Barron's 43,000 signatures, he will: "I think it's going to be horrible to give this guy a dignified platform, because he is the antithesis of what Dr. King said, which is his desire that people be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin... People who find the notion of running a race-based party abhorrent. ... I'm doing it on behalf of people who would prefer less racism and more civility in politics." FWIW, Fidler "personally has campaigned for Bill Thompson for mayor, Carl McCall for governor and Barack Obama for president."