JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – A Jamestown area pharmacist is running a unique campaign in his election bid for Congress, after he was unable to officially make the ballot earlier this summer.
Richard Moon first rose to the political spotlight after announcing his candidacy for New York’s 23rd Congressional GOP Primary.
The original June primary election was delayed because of a court ruling, ordering New York State to redraw political voting districts which were found to have been gerrymandered.
While Moon secured enough signatures to be on the original ballot, he hit several roadblocks ahead of a fast approaching August primary.
“We were well on our way to gathering signatures and there was a pretty hefty signature requirement for a short period of time that was sprung on us by the state,” said Moon. “We had a tent up at Walmart and we were collecting a couple hundred signatures a day and then all of a sudden, somebody changed their mind, we feel like maybe there was a phone call made, they made us take our tent down. We barely had enough to hit the total, but not all of our signatures survived appeal.”
That’s why Moon says he has launched a write-in campaign.
“Out of the two Republican candidates that are officially on the ballot, I am the only one that lives in the district even though I’m not one of those two which is why I’d need the write-in,” continued Moon. “One lives in South Buffalo, and one lives in Niagara County. Even the Democrat doesn’t live in this district either, that’s gonna be on the final ballot. There’s a lot of people treating us like we don’t matter. I think that the people who live here should be upset about that.”
With the right attitude and some new ideas, the candidate believes he can be a strong voice in D.C.
“I wouldn’t say that I’m a political player but I certainly am a consensus builder. I believe that there are things we can accomplish through doing the right things the right way, with the right attitude. And because I don’t need to retire as a Congressperson in 35 years, it does give me a bit of an edge. I can serve my two or three terms, six years max, I’m out. Somebody else can take that mantle. We have a lot of talented people in our district that can go ahead and do it, I’ll happily encourage them to do so. But, new ideas, some different ways of doing things, and I know that I can accomplish some good things,” Moon said.
Unity is something Moon finds very important.
“It’s not a Republican or Democrat thing, it is a Western New York, Southern Tier thing. We’re all family, we live next door to each other, we work with each other, we play with each other, it’s all about all of us. So, certainly winning the general with a write in or the special general, will absolutely give us a leg up on the rest of it,” said Moon.
Two front runners, Nick Langworthy and Carl Paladino, are officially on the ballot for the Tuesday, August 23rd primary election.
The special election will fill the seat of former Congressman Tom Reed, who resigned for a job in the private sector. Republican Joe Sempolinski, the Steuben County Republican chairman, and Democrat Max Della Pia, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel from Tioga County, are facing off.
The ultimate winner of the GOP primary in August will take on Della Pia this fall for the full term.