Two years ago when Maria Pereira had a falling-out with three members of a Democratic Town Committee primary slate she had supported she literally crossed out their names and handed the palm card to voters in front of Thomas Hooker School. The three candidates did not win. Once again embroiled in a town committee tussle for a March 1 primary in the Upper East Side 138th District, a handout piece has emerged with five candidates on her slate X-ed out. This time, however, Pereira says she had nothing to do with it. Could this be gamesmanship by an opponent?
Pereira, a member of the Board of Education, issued this statement to OIB on behalf of her slate:
In response to the altered walk-piece you sent me, I would like to state for the record that after speaking/texting with all our slate members today, I am confident no one on our slate had anything to do with this politically motivated prank. This was our original flier in which just 300 were quickly printed for our Vazzy’s fundraiser which was made available on every table that night. Therefore everyone that attended had access to multiple copies of this flier.
We have not used this walk-piece for over two weeks because several people took stacks that night, therefore we ran out of the initial run quickly.
We continue to be focused on working together to win all nine seats on the DTC in the 138th.
Two years ago Pereira handed out cut cards to her voter contacts in front of the Hooker School precinct where she has a strong following, crossing out the names of town committee candidates she had supported including Pat Fardy and Ann Barney in the 138th District. Pereira was upset about some things Pat’s husband Andy Fardy wrote about her on OIB.
Pereira’s current slate faces challenges from two slates with 18 opponents so it’s possible the altered handout piece that was presented to OIB from a diner who saw it at Vinny’s Pizza in the district could have been manipulated by a challenger.
The 138th District has three slates competing with 27 candidates on tap. Pereira has forged a slate of insurgents: Michelle Fox, Angel Figueroa, Eric Alicea, Dolores Fonseca, Rafael Fonseca, Helen Losak, Andrea White and Erris Roy Allen. They are challenging a slate led by City Council members Anthony Paoletto, Nessah Smith as well as Martha Santiago, Kelly Perez, Sonia Belardo, Ty Bird, Kevin Monks, Robert Curwen Jr. and James Morton.
A third slate is also competing led by former city councilor and school board member Leticia Colon and activist Charles Hare. Jose Ramos, Lee Roy Owens, Samia Suliman, Sonia Kirkland, Martha Gil, Marybel Torres and Alfonso Rodriguez round out that slate.
This is not winner slate take all. The top nine vote producers are elected to the 90-member Democratic Town Committee that endorses candidates for public office and selects a chairman.
The West Side 132nd District and East Side 137th District also have town committee primaries.