GOP candidates file for new "Stop Common Core" ballot line

Aug 13, 2014

The Republican candidate for governor and other state-wide conservative candidates have submitted their names for a new “Stop Common Core” party ballot line.

The campaign of Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino says they collected about four-times as many signatures as the 15,000 needed to apply to create a new ballot line.

Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci, who is running for state comptroller as a Republican, is also applying for the line. He says they hope to win votes on the line from liberals and conservatives.

"We’re finding common ground on an over-reaching government bureaucratic program that’s initiated by the federal government," he said. "These people want their government back in their hands. They want decisions made at the local level."

The candidates blitzed New York state Tuesday to announce the new ballot line. Antonacci was joined in Syracuse by Chris Moss, the Chemung County sheriff and candidate for lieutenant governor.

Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci. (file)
Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci. (file)
Credit Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Having their names on the ballot at second time will help them win more votes, Moss said.

"I think people who really want to get rid of Common Core are going to vote that ballot line regardless of their political affiliation," Moss said. "And with just 62,000 signatures I think that’s just a microcosm of the amount of votes we’ll get. So we’re hoping to get well over that amount."

John Cahill, a Republican running for attorney general, is also adding his name to the ballot line.

Astorino kicked off the effort for the new ballot line in July. It’s inspired by resentment from educators and parents over New York’s implementation of a new federal education curriculum, known as Common Core.

The effort has sparked criticism from Democrats and inspired efforts to create other caused-based ballot lines.  

If approved, the line would appear along with the major parties and lesser ones like the Green Party and the Working Families Party. New York election law allows candidates to run on multiple ballot lines.

Moss says they'll campaign hard on the anti-Common Core sentiment, along with hitting Gov. Andrew Cuomo hard on his alleged interference with an ethic panel he created.

The New York Times reported earlier this summer Cuomo, a Democrat, and his staff tried to steer a Moreland Commission anti-corruption panel away from investigating the governor.

Since then, Astorino's campaign has seen a slight rise in his poll numbers and fundraising. They wish even more people knew about the Moreland Commission scandal, Moss said.

"Because the more that do, obviously are going to come to our side, the polls show," Moss said. "So as we get closer to Election Day and after Labor Day when we go up on the air, I think you’re going to see the polls sway more to our side, definitely."

A Siena College poll from this week finds Cuomo still leads Astorino by 32 points and most voters haven’t heard of the Moreland Commission scandal.