Testa Challenger Nancy Vann Disqualified as Candidate on Working Families Line

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PEEKSKILL, NY – On August 3, 2017, the Westchester Board of Elections announced the disqualification of Nancy S. Vann, County Legislator Candidate for District 1, for the Working Families line in this year’s November election.

It was determined that 60% of the entries on her designating petitions were obtained from individuals not residing in the district. According to Board of Election figures for Westchester County Legislative District 1, a total of 7 qualified signatures/entries are needed to meet the minimum requirement for securing the line for the election. Vann submitted a total of 10. However, when reviewed, it was discovered that 6 of the 10 signatures were not from individuals residing within the district, thus invalidating her as a candidate for the Working Families Party.

“I was really hoping for an election where my opponent wouldn’t attempt some sort of scheme to cheat during the petition process,” County Legislator Testa said. “I am disappointed but not surprised,” Testa added.

When examining the petitions that Vann filed, it was discovered that 5 of the 10 signatures submitted were witnessed by Terence (T.J.) Rogers, the former Peekskill Democratic Party Chairman. The other 5 were obtained by Yorktown Town Board member Vishnu Patel. Incredibly, all 5 of Patel’s entries were invalid and one of Roger’s was also invalid.

“I wish I knew why cheating is such a common and acceptable method of campaigning by candidates supported by the Peekskill Democrats,” said Testa. “It seems to border on pathological at this point. I thought that after being humiliated with their failed scheme two years ago they would have learned their lesson,” said Testa.

In 2015, an elaborate plan to circumvent election law was unhatched by Testa’s then opponent, Derek Hartley. Hartley, along with a number of members of the Peekskill, Cortlandt and Yorktown and Democratic Parties were caught cheating on Democratic Designating Petitions for Hartley. Upon review, the Westchester Board of Elections invalidated the petitions and Hartley’s candidacy.

https://johngtesta.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/peekskill-and-county-democrats-exposed-in-petition-fraud/

https://johngtesta.wordpress.com/2015/09/14/positively-cheaters/

Sadly, a number of sitting elected Democratic officials, on both the local and county levels, were implicated in the 2015 scheme. Included in that group was Councilman Vishnu Patel of Yorktown, who was caught submitting invalid signatures again this year.Rogers was part of the 2015 scheme as well.

“Vishnu should know better than to attempt this sort of shenanigans again,” said Testa. “The number of valid signatures needed was low, so why cheat? It makes no sense. I think it all stems from the Democratic Party mantra of ‘the ends justifies the means.’ Regardless, I will move forward with a positive campaign and proudly run on my record of accomplishment during my tenure as County Legislator serving Cortlandt, Peekskill and Yorktown,” said Testa.

John G. Testa will appear on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform Party lines in November.

About John G. Testa

Former District 1 County Legislator, John G. Testa is served five terms at the Westchester County Board of Legislators, spending the last 3 terms as BOL Minority Leader. John G. Testa is a lifelong resident of Peekskill who first entered elected public service as a member of the Peekskill Common Council in 1998 and then served three terms as Mayor. He previously served on the Conservation and Parks Advisory Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. John became an elected official eager to improve the City in which his family has lived for more than a century and quickly earned a reputation as a strong, independent, nonpartisan voice for fiscal responsibility. John received a BS degree in Technology from SUNY Oswego, where his academic achievements gained him induction into Epsilon Pi Tau, the International Honorary Fraternity of Technology. He earned his MS degree in Technology from the City College of New York. He began his teaching career in 1980 at Peekskill High School, his alma mater, as an instructor in Technology and Social Studies, retiring in 2013 after 33 years teaching. John has been a leader in support for the Arts Community in Westchester. He presided over the construction of the Peekskill Art Lofts, the establishment of the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, and the complete restoration of the Paramount Center for the Arts, originally a 1930’s movie house and helped bring critical funding to many Westchester programs. Legislator Testa received the “Advancing the Arts in Westchester Award” by ArtsWestchester. John has a been a leader on environmental issues for two decades and has a long record of initiatives he has supported and spearheaded. His active involvement in developing and promoting environmentally friendly policies began as mayor and continued throughout his time as Westchester County Legislator. His efforts consistently earned John the endorsement of the NY League of Conservation Voters. John’s most recognizable accomplishment has been his promotion and preservation of local history and historic landmarks, bringing an unprecedented focus on the region’s rich history, and its legacy of historic Victorian architecture. His roots in historical preservation stem from his experience as a Revolutionary War re-enactor and member of The Brigade of the American Revolution for 50 years. John was instrumental in securing the preservation of the Lincoln Depot, now the Lincoln Depot Museum, where he now serves as President. The museum was recognized in 2015 as one of The Best Museums in Westchester. He also secured the preservation of historic Fort Hill as parkland, a 40-acre parcel that was originally a Revolutionary War encampment site. Under his leadership, the United States Dept. of the Interior declared Peekskill a “Preserve America Community.” John was able to establish a record number of National Register designations of local structures, including the first Downtown and Neighborhood Historic Districts and supported the preservation of the historic Miller House in North White Plains. In 2017 John was named a “Champion of History” by the Lincoln Society in Peekskill. John and his wife of 37 years, Nancy, live in Peekskill and have two adult children, John, Jr. (fiancé Courtney Kelly) and Katy (husband Mike Mearon). John and Nancy recently welcomed the arrival of their first grandchild, Lacey Mae, in 2019.
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