Syracuse mayoral candidate Raymond Blackwell forced out of race

A Syracuse mayoral candidate's dreams have been dashed. Raymond Blackwell was denied a spot on the ballot this morning.

County board of elections officials say he had hundreds of invalid petition signatures. The rule states that every Democratic candidate needs 1,000 valid signatures to run for mayor. While Blackwell has more than 1,000, the board says the signatures don't all belong to registered members of the Democratic party, so they don't count. 

Officials say the signature barrier is there to put somebody on the ballot that has general community support. But Blackwell feels the laws make it impossible for the average person to succeed.

"People get excluded and marginalized, and it's completely justified," said Blackwell. "To ask someone to get 1,000 signatures who again didn't get the party's support, and doesn't have an army of paid volunteers, is sort of a pseudo-way of excluding people without directly saying you're excluding them."

Blackwell has three days to contest the ruling, but at this point, he's still weighing his options.

Two other Democratic candidates, Marty Masterpole and Alfonso Davis, will face the board for similar reasons later this week.

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