Congressional hopeful, Finger Lakes contractor and Canandaigua resident Floyd Rayburn, learned the fate of his campaign today, after court proceedings in which his petition signatures were challenged by Claudia Tenney’s campaign. He will not be on the Republican Primary ballot for New York’s 24th Congressional District. However, candidates with signatures from well outside the district will remain.
Rayburn promised supporters to fight for small business owners; to combat inflation, including soaring gas prices, ensure equal pay for all through skills-based wages and revamp the failing education system.
“I’m disappointed that I will not appear on the primary ballot,” said Rayburn. “We ran into some issues with some of our petitions, knocking us down below the required number of signatures. At the time same, I’m frustrated with the disservice being done to the residents of this district. I had only 17 days to collect and vet more than 1,000 signatures. My opponents, however, had 38 days to do the same. Unlike Ms. Tenney, I sought out the approval of district residents and received their signatures in support of my campaign to represent them. Her petition signatures are from an entirely different district: the one she had initially announced her run for.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their support and their hard work on my behalf. It is my sincere desire to serve this district, and my country, in Washington. Rest assured, I will mount another campaign in the future and deliver on my campaign promises. Our struggling residents need help. They need someone from the district who understands their issues and someone who has put in time building the community and raising a family in it as I have. Claudia Tenney, a known ‘carpetbagger’ and divisive politician, is neither.”
Rayburn is a lifelong resident of the Finger Lakes region, a contractor and a small business owner who has completed projects and created hundreds of jobs throughout the Finger Lakes and Western New York regions. For the last 40 years, he has owned and operated one of the most successful masonry businesses in Upstate New York, helping to build the district with his own hands. Born and raised in Bloomfield, Rayburn grew up working on his family’s dairy farm and also understands the difficulties of the state’s countless farmers.
While Rayburn got support from within the district – with only 17 days in which to collect signatures –Tenney collected signatures for the redrawn 23rd Congressional District she originally announced she would run for in Central New York and the Southern Tier.
When the maps were redrawn again, Tenney abandoned her bid and decided to run for the 24th District seat which includes most of Oswego County, parts of the Finger Lakes, and goes into Western New York’s Niagara County. She is now running for a different seat, in an entirely different region of the state, yet she was allowed to submit signatures that are not only from counties outside the district she is bidding to represent but nowhere close to it. Tenney does not live in the district, as Rayburn has his entire life, she garnered little to no support from actual residents of the district, nor has she spent any time representing it throughout her political career.
Similarly, Mario Fratto, another challenger for the 24th District’s Republican nomination, received many of his signatures from outside the district as he originally set his sights on another. In fairness, he does have signatures from within the district as he is a resident of Geneva, which was originally considered part of the district he first planned to run for – an entirely different situation than Tenney’s move to find the path of least resistance.
Regardless of the situation, both candidates had unfair advantages by having 38 days – compared to Rayburn’s 17 – to collect nearly the same amount of signatures and by being allowed to submit signatures from residents outside the district which they had already collected. This is a disservice to those who reside in New York’s new 24th Congressional District, as one of their own is now denied the opportunity to represent them.