You are reading

BOE Keeps Patel in Congressional Race Despite Abdelhamid’s Attempt to Knock Him Off Ballot

Suraj Patel and Rana Abdelhamid, candidates for Congressional District 12 (Suraj Patel for Congress & Rana Abdelhamid for Congress)

April 28, 2022 By Allie Griffin

Suraj Patel who is running to represent the 12th Congressional District will remain on the ballot despite an attempt by an opposing candidate to kick him out of the race.

Rana Abdelhamid, who is also running for the seat, called for him to be tossed out of the race on the basis that the required signatures he collected to get on the ballot were invalid. She challenged their validity with the Board of Elections and filed a lawsuit in state court.

The Board of Elections ruled that Patel had met the required number of signatures race despite Abdelhamid’s objections.

Patel and Abdelhamid are two progressives hoping to beat incumbent Rep. Carolyn Maloney to represent parts of Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.

Patel submitted a petition with 3,217 signatures, well over the 1,250 signatures required in order to get on the ballot for a Congressional seat. However, Abdelhamid argued that 2,091 were invalid — leaving him 124 signatures short of the requirement.

Abdelhamid and her campaign claimed that the majority of the 2,091 New Yorkers who signed Patel’s petition weren’t registered to vote or lived outside District 12. Others, they argued, were not registered Democrats.

However, the BOE determined that Patel — who is vying for the seat for a third time — had enough valid signatures to be in the primary.

Abdelhamid’s lawsuit was also rejected by a New York Supreme Court judge — although it had nothing to do with the validity of the signatures. The judge dismissed the case due to the uncertainty of the upcoming primaries, stemming from a Court of Appeals ruling that called for the electoral maps to be redrawn.

Patel’s campaign denounced Abdelhamid’s attempt to disqualify him as “desperate”, “undemocratic” and “dirty” and accused her of “Trumpian voter suppression tactics”.

“The efforts we saw this week by Rana Abdelhamid’s campaign were nothing more than a desperate, undemocratic attempt to disenfranchise 37,000+ voters who supported Suraj Patel in 2020, and the thousands who signed petitions for him just weeks ago,” Patel’s campaign manager Emmet Werbel said in a statement.

Werbel said Abdelhamid’s campaign was trying to silence the New Yorkers who signed petitions for Patel and claimed the majority of the signatures she challenged were those of Black and brown voters.

“It is unacceptable that any Democrat would try to further erode the bedrock of our democracy by trying to deny voters the ability to elect the change that our campaign represents,” Werbel said. “If you want to win, win at the ballot box through the power of persuasion of your ideas, not by deny [sic] voters a choice.”

Abdelhamid’s campaign, however, told the Queens Post that Patel’s team took short cuts in gathering the signatures—by farming them out to paid canvassers—and that they were within their rights to challenge them.

“The attacks against our campaign are completely baseless, and Suraj Patel should know better than to call a valid challenge to a candidate’s signatures undemocratic,” her campaign manager Ben Shanahan said. “Our team was proud to do the hard-nosed, grassroots work of collecting thousands of signatures from voters in New York’s 12th district”

Her campaign also took exception to being compared to Trump.

“Rana has spent a majority of her life fighting for working class people and people of color in this district,” Shanahan said. “For Suraj Patel to compare the only Muslim woman in this race to the author of the Muslim ban, and someone who has time and time again made racist and derogatory statements against Arab and Muslim communities, is wildly offensive, untrue, and completely unacceptable.”

Her campaign also noted that in 2018 Patel challenged his competitors’ petitions.

For instance, in 2018, he argued that an opposing Democratic candidate, Sander Hicks, had invalid signatures that made him short of the required 1,250, according to the Manhattan publication Town & Village. The court agreed and Hicks was disqualified from the primary for being 110 names short.

The current Congressional District 12 map (left) vs. the invalidated map created via the redistricting. Significant portions of Astoria and Williamsburg had been cut out of the invalidated map. (Source:

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Advocates pen letter blasting Mayor Adams’ legal motion to suspend right-to-shelter

Homeless advocates penned a letter to a Manhattan Supreme Court judge opposing Mayor Eric Adams’ recent legal motion calling for the suspension of the city’s decades-old right-to-shelter law amid the ongoing migrant influx.

The letter, sent last Thursday and released Tuesday, comes in response to Adams last week filing a court motion to exempt the city from its legal mandate — established by the 1984 Callahan v. Carey consent decree — to provide shelter to single adults and adult couples when it “lacks the resources and capacity” to do so. The mayor and top administration officials say they’re not seeking to abolish the right-to-shelter, but rather “clarity” from the court that would give them more “flexibility” in finding suitable housing for tens of thousands of migrants.

Rockaway’s piping plovers among endangered species commemorated on U.S. Postal Service stamps

A day before the city reopened nearly 70 blocks of public beaches along the Rockaway peninsula for the Memorial Day weekend, the U.S. Postal Service and National Park Service hosted a special event at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Broad Channel to honor the piping plover, an endangered shorebird featured on new stamps.

In attendance were members of the NYC Plover Project, a nonprofit with more than 250 volunteers, who have been on the beaches since March preparing for the summer swim season, who celebrated the newly released stamp sheet commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act.

Bayside High School hosts annual Social Entrepreneur Trade Fair

Bayside High School hosted its annual Social Entrepreneur Trade Fair Friday. Students from the Career and Technical Education Humanities and Nonprofit Management program each pitched their socially responsible products to students, staff and others in attendance.

Each of the 11th grade students in the program have been taking a college credit course from Farmingdale State College called Social Entrepreneur. The students were divided into 17 groups of five and tasked with coming up with innovative ideas to create businesses while also being socially responsible. The Social Entrepreneur Trade Fair grants them with the opportunity to work on pitching their products to potential customers.

Annual Memorial Day ceremony held at Korean War memorial in Kissena Park

On Friday, May 26, the second annual Memorial Day Ceremony in Kissena Park brought live music, local dignitaries, veterans groups, a presentation of the Colors by members of the Francis Lewis High School JROTC, a flower-laying ceremony and more to the Flushing community.

Those in attendance included Councilwoman Sandra Ung, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, state Senator John Liu, veterans groups, local students, Boy Scout Troop 253 and others.

Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade honors fallen heroes

Rain or shine, the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, touted as the largest Memorial Day parade in the United States, has been a staple of the quaint Queens neighborhoods since 1927. Thousands lined the parade route under clear blue sky along Northern Boulevard from Jayson Avenue in Great Neck to 245th Street in Douglaston on May 29 to honor the brave men and women who answered their call to service and made the ultimate sacrifice while defending their country.

Many onlookers sporting patriotic attire waved Old Glory and cheered on the parade of military vehicles, veteran and military groups and marching bands led by Grand Marshal Vice Admiral Joanna M Nunan, the first female commander of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. This year’s parade marshals were retired Master Sergeant Lawrence Badia and Vietnam veteran Richard Weinberg.