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Lashawn Hawkins’ petition invalidated

Can still be on ballot as an Independent

Lashawn Hawkins announcing her candidacy for Gloversville councilwoman-at-large. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

JOHNSTOWN — The Democratic candidacy of Lashawn Hawkins for Gloversville councilman-at-large was tossed Tuesday by the Fulton County Board of Elections.

Republican Election Commissioner Lee Hollenbeck and Democratic Election Commissioner G. Jeremiah Ryan jointly ruled her Democratic election petition filed March 25 was invalid.

Ryan said Tuesday that the commissioners found that both pages of her election petition — in the witness section at the bottom — incorrectly identified Hawkins’ political party as “Democrat.” He said she is a registered Independent.

The technical issue — brought to the forefront through an official objection by Republican William Rowback Jr. — prevents Hawkins from being on the Nov. 2 general election ballot, at least as a Democrat.

But Ryan said Hawkins still has time to run as an independent. Independent petitions must be filed with the Fulton County Board of Elections from May 11 through 18.

Meanwhile, a June 22 Republican primary is still set for Gloversville councilman-at-large between Wayne Peters and Arthur Simonds.

The current Gloversville councilman-at-large, Rowback, will be seeking to unseat incumbent Democratic Mayor Vincent DeSantis in the general election.

Hawkins announced in February she was running for councilman-at-large. She moved to Gloversville with her three children in 2012 from Florida to be closer to family and became devoted to working with people in need. She said her life “shifted” after George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020 and she became more politically active, founding the non-profit organization I Can Breathe and I Will Speak Inc. and organizing local speaking/protest events.

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