Ayanna Pressley’s Republican Challenger Rayla Campbell Using Sticker-and-Write-In Campaign To Get On November Ballot

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2020/07/06/ayanna-pressleys-republican-challenger-rayla-campbell-using-sticker-and-write-in-campaign-to-get-on-november-ballot/

When the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office decided that Rayla Campbell would not be on the primary ballot this September, she did not quit.

She turned to her backup plan.

Campbell, a Republican from Randolph, is running a write-in-and-sticker campaign to try to make the general election ballot in November to take on U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Dorchester). She needs 2,000 votes to make it.

Pressley, who represents the Massachusetts Seventh Congressional District, is best known as a member of “The Squad,” a group of four first-term Democratic women of color, who are among the furthest left members of Congress.

Campbell, upon finding out that she did not have 1,000 certified signatures to make the September 1 Republican primary ballot, had no hesitation about Plan B.

“I knew instantly,” she told New Boston Post in a telephone interview this week. “I knew they’d be shady with the numbers coming back from the clerk’s office, and that we’d have to run a write-in/sticker campaign all the way through November. I don’t back down. I go harder.

“It’s extremely important because we’re the voices that have been forgotten and passed aside, but we’re not going to be forgotten anymore,” she added. “We’re out standing loud, proud, and strong for the constituents and the people of Massachusetts who want to see change. We’re not going to surrender to the radical left.” 

As a result of the coronavirus emergency, which made getting signatures of registered voters on nomination papers extraordinarily difficult, the state Supreme Judicial Court halved its signature requirements this year for all offices for members of political parties recognized by the Commonwealth. But collecting signatures was still tough going for some candidates.

In the spring, Campbell collected signatures to earn a spot on the September primary ballot. She says she collected more than 1,000. But town clerks and city clerks tossed enough of the signatures to leave her below the 1,000 threshold needed.

That means there will be no Republican candidate on the ballot for U.S. House of Representatives in Massachusetts’s Seventh this September.

Plan B is to get enough votes from Republicans on September 1 to gain her the GOP nomination and a spot on the November general election ballot against Pressley.

A sticker campaign, as defined by the Secretary of Commonwealth’s office is, “when a candidate provides voters with stickers containing the candidate’s name as registered to affix on the ballot in the area for write-ins. A voter need not use the sticker to have such vote counted for the sticker candidate. He or she can physically write in the name of that candidate.”

The candidates use stickers because votes are supposed to contain both the name and address of the candidate. 

States have varying rules for what it takes for a sticker/write-in primary candidate to earn a party’s nomination in a statewide/federal primary election. In Massachusetts, there are two requirements. The first is that the candidate gets as many votes as a candidate needs signatures to appear on the ballot. The other requirement is that the candidate receives the highest number of votes.

For example, to earn the Republican nomination in the Seventh district this year, Campbell will need at least 2,000 votes in the primary, because that’s the number of certified signatures a candidate for Congress ordinarily needs to make the primary ballot.

In addition to reaching out to Republican voters to make it happen, Campbell said she wants to make an effort to connect with unenrolled voters and nonvoters, who she thinks she can win over with her message.

“There’s some establishment Democrats, but there’s a huge number of unenrolled who don’t think Massachusetts is working for them,” she said of the Seventh district. “I want to get my voice out there to show that I can stand up for their values. We need to bring those people back in. We’re gonna also have so many new people registering to vote. It’s going to be amazing.”

In Massachusetts, unenrolled voters can take a Republican ballot on primary day and then, if they wish, immediately return to unenrolled status.

Campbell plans to meet with voters directly at events throughout the summer. Her next upcoming event is scheduled for 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, July 9 at Powers Farm in Randolph. Kevin O’Connor, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate is also expected to be in attendance.

She also said that if people are interested in helping her campaign, they can visit RaylaForCongress.com.

“They can fill out a form to donate, or to volunteer,” she said. “As soon as they get in contact with my campaign, they’ll likely be in contact with me directly. My page is a good landing spot to learn about me.”

The Seventh is a D+34 district, according to the Cook Partisan Voting index, making it one of the most Democratic-leaning in the country. It’s also the only majority-minority district in the state, meaning the majority of its constituents — like Campbell — are non-white.

A Massachusetts Republican has not won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1994.

Pressley’s office could not be reached for comment for this story.