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It's A Messinger-Sharpton Runoff In N.Y.C. (9/10/97)

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N.Y. Runoff Canceled, Sharpton Files Suit


NEW YORK (AllPolitics, Sep. 18) -- Gotham mayoral hopeful Al Sharpton has filed suit in federal court, hoping to overrule a decision that would cancel next week's Democratic runoff election between himself and Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger.

Following the Sep. 9 Democratic primary in which Messinger led Sharpton 39-32 percent, a runoff was scheduled since victory requires 40 percent of the vote. But Wednesday the Board of Elections canceled the runoff after absentee ballots gave Messinger 40.159 percent, 658 votes over the hurdle.


Sharpton, a longtime civil rights activist, charged the primary results are fraudulent and violated the voters' civil rights.

"There was such substantial fraud and irregularities in the conduct of the primary election ... that it is impossible to render a determination as to who was rightfully nominated," say court papers filed by Sharpton's attorney, Michael A. Hardy. The case is expected to be heard today with a decision rendered by Friday.

Among Sharpton's charges:

  • That non-Democrats were allowed to vote;
  • that more votes were counted in some districts than there are voters;
  • that some registered voters were misinformed and turned away from polling locations;
  • and that some voting machines were broken.

The Democratic candidate will face incumbent Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in November's general election. While welcoming the election board's decision, Messinger conceded the vote-counting process had been clunky.

"Assuming the numbers from last night hold up, I am delighted to be the nominee of the Democratic Party," she told reporters. "There is no question that the process took too long and that's frustrating."

In Other News:

Thursday Sept. 18, 1997

Tamraz: Contributions Bought White House Access
Partisan Politics And The Christian Coalition
N.Y. Runoff Canceled, Sharpton Files Suit
It's 'Day One' In Tobacco War
First Lady Asks Press To Respect Chelsea's Privacy
Helms Backs NATO Expansion
Albright Boosts Clinton Trade Plan
Internet Site To Monitor Kids TV
No Tobacco Settlement This Year
Clinton Promises To Protect Farmers
NATO Hints At Further Bosnia Role
NEA Survives Attack In Senate
Reno Defends Campaign Task Force

E-mail From Washington:
GOP Lawmakers Ask For Explanation Of Jones' Audit
Justice Wants O'Leary Probe
Justice Won't Object To Immunity Request
Gore Says He's Cooperating With Justice Department
House Ponders Barring Bob Dornan From The Floor
Gephardt Rips Clinton Trade Proposal

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