Over 65,000 signatures were delivered to the State Board of Elections Wednesday to place Senator Bernie Sanders on the presidential primary ballot. This is four times the required amount to place a candidate on a ballot for all 27 Congressional districts.
Even though the faint outline of 2016 can still be seen on campaign signs marked over in white, a group of Bernie Sanders supporters delivering the petitions are determined not to see the past repeated.
"What does Pete Butiggieg want to do for the state? Who knows! But we do know what Bernie is going to do," said Assemblyman Phil Steck to the crowd of Bernie supporters.
Steck says he is fully backing the Vermont senator this year. Despite Mike Bloomberg being from New York and Governor Andrew Cuomo supporting Joe Biden, Steck says Sanders is by far the best candidate in the race.
"I think we’ve had policy in this country that has promoted the interests of billionaires at the expense of the rest of us," Steck explained. "That needs to change. I do not see any of the other Democratic candidates doing that in the same way Bernie does."
Sanders received 42% of the primary vote here in 2016 when he ran against Hillary Clinton. This was still touted as a big success since New York is seen as Clinton’s adopted home state.
Senate Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris alluded to this fact but says he’s confident this year is different.
"Bernie Sanders in a completely different race, in a completely different time when Donald Trump is our president and people realize the degree of change we need to bring to this country. But no one is going to change this country more than Bernie Sanders," insisted Gianaris.
Monday was the first day presidential candidates could file to be on the ballot. Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer, and Joe Biden hopped on that right away. And then Tuesday, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Michael Bennet filed their petitions.
Candidates have until Thursday to submit at least 5,000 petition signatures. Buttigieg delivered over 16,000 signatures on Monday.
New York’s Democratic and Republican Presidential primary date is April 28.