This morning, Ọṣun Zotique announced on Instagram the end of their campaign for Congress.
Mrs. Beyoncé Knowles-Carter channeled "you won't break my soul," and she's right. Because my soul belongs to God, and she has even bigger plans than #ny19 for me this year. And so I am ending my candidacy, effective 06/30. Onward, siblings. Onward. Stay tuned. The sun is rising, not setting, on this democracy.
The Instagram statement does not provide any reason for ending the campaign. A press release from Zotique received by Gossips subsequent to the post on Instagram alludes to the reason:
I would like to take this opportunity to say that NYS ELN § 6 is not only obsolete, it is also ableist and dangerous. In my experience gathering over 1,000 designating petition signatures, I realized that it is very challenging to make your way onto a ballot in this state. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In a world of integrated blockchain and crypto, however [an issue where Mr. Molinaro and I agree], there’s no reason we couldn’t also do this securely online in the MyNY.gov portal. Running wet-ink petitions is exhausting physically and impossible for some. And furthermore, it forces us to carry around sensitive voter information which could get misplaced or destroyed by rain. New Yorkers need reform on Section 6, full stop.
A search of the New York State Board of Elections website yields an explanation of what happened to cause Zotique to end their campaign. The designating petitions for a candidate in the August primary for NY19 Congressional District needed to contain a total of 1,062 valid signatures to meet the minimum threshold. Zotique's petitions contained 1,063, just one more than the minimum. For a variety of reasons, there were objections to 294 of the signatures. Whether or not all the objections were determined to have merit, Zotique had only one signature to spare, so if only two signatures were determined to be invalid, there would be an insufficient number for Zotique to get on the ballot.
Zotique's press release concludes:
I urge everyone to stay tuned to the important issues we had the opportunity to elevate via my website at www.osunformy.com. Please hold my new friends Jamie and Josh to those same values, which we mostly all share.
I remain New York's yoga servant; school district advisor; PhD candidate in creativity education; OutHudson LGBTQIA+ Pride Executive Director; and, a steadfast neighbor & friend. Maybe one day soon I will get the chance to be your elected public servant again.