In light of charges levied against State Senator Shirley Huntley, her primary opponent is calling for her to step down and exit the race for her seat immediately.
“With great regret, I am calling upon Senator Shirley Huntley to take the high road. Step aside so that a new voice can take over and you can deal with the legal problems you are dealing with,” said Councilmember James Sanders outside Queens County courthouse today, less than three weeks before the September 13 primary election.
Huntley was hit yesterday with conspiracy and tampering charges for allegedly attempting to cover up money her niece and aide stole from a Long Island nonprofit. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that when Huntley learned of the probe into her niece and aide, she penned a false backdated letter stating the nonprofit she founded, Parent Workshop, Inc., conducted workshops that never took place.
The three-time incumbent faces a fiercely contested primary in less than three weeks against Sanders and Gian Jones.
“The Senator should resign, effective immediately,” Sanders said.
The councilmember said Huntley deserves her day in court, but “you cannot deal with a 20-count indictment and effectively do the work of the people.”
This late in the game, the Board of Elections could not remove someone from the ballot, Sanders said, but a candidate could step aside and refuse to continue in the race.
Unions have contacted Sanders about switching their endorsements and the councilmember indicated some will come shortly. He added he looks forward to a “necessary” conversation with the Queens County Democrats, who endorsed Huntley, about possibly switching their support.