Volume 78 / Number 8 - July 23 - 29, 2008
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Villager photo by Gabriel Zucker

Adam Sullivan and supporters outside the General Post Office on Tuesday.

With parting shots at Nadler, impeach candidate ends run

By Gabriel Zucker

Adam Sullivan, the political novice who planned to challenge incumbent Congressmember Jerrold Nadler in the Eighth District Democratic primary, said on Tuesday that he would abort his campaign. His announcement came a week after The Villager’s Scoopy’s Notebook revealed that Sullivan had registered as a Democrat too late to be enrolled in the party before the primary.

“Having grown up in a Democratic household and having consistently voted Democratic, I always associated myself with the Democratic Party,” Sullivan explained in a news conference outside the Farley General Post Office building at 32nd St. and Eighth Ave. “The fact was, though, that after moving to New York City in 1997, I had registered as unaffiliated, largely because I felt the party no longer sufficiently represented the progressive values that I cherished.”

Sullivan, a theater artist who has worked as a producer, director and teacher, registered as a Democrat in June, but, according to him, in his “haste, did not mention doing so to the campaign.”

“I assumed that my new enrollment would be current at the time of petition filing, which I now know not to be the case,” he said. “Members of my campaign assumed that I was a properly enrolled Democrat. The fault in this is entirely mine.”

Sullivan also announced that several formal complaints had been brought against his campaign that morning, regarding the validity of his petition signatures and another matter.

“Clearly, the congressman and his camp have worked very hard on these objections, and I’d just like to commend them on their very hard work,” he said, holding a thick stack of paper in his hand.

Sullivan based his campaign on one issue: Nadler’s reluctance to bring impeachment charges against President Bush and Vice President Cheney. He was a part of a local group, AskNadler2Impeach.org, that met with the congressmember, only to hear Nadler provide what Sullivan called a “litany of arguments” against impeachment that Sullivan “was having none of.”

“There it was: My congressman — who sought and attained the chairmanship of the Subcommittee of the Judiciary on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and who has sworn an oath of office eight separate times to protect and defend the source of all our laws and liberties — was claiming that the fulfillment of his sworn duty was just too hard,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said that he would “absolutely” support another pro-impeachment candidate aligned with his views, but that running as an independent did not appeal to him.

“The point of running in the primary was to utilize the timing to impact impeachment,” he said. “I have never been ambitious for public office. My purpose in doing this was always to impact the impeachment issue.”

To some degree, Sullivan believes that he did.

“In seeking signatures for our petition, I had the opportunity — the privilege, actually — to go out into the district as a candidate and speak to the constituents of the Eighth District. And I can tell you that many were very disappointed to hear that their congressman did not support and does not support impeachment,” said Sullivan. “Many of his constituents do not know this. We were able to raise awareness, I think, to a significant degree.”

Aside from traveling to Washington, D.C., on Friday to demonstrate support for and perhaps even witness Representative Dennis Kucinich’s impeachment hearings, Sullivan said he has “not made plans as yet for the next phase of what I would do to impact impeachment.” But he said he felt certain that he would not waver on the issue.

“I may not have grasped New York State’s electoral rules and codes,” he said, “but I am very clear on the Constitution.”

Asked for a response to Sullivan’s dropping out and his parting blasts at Nadler, the congressmember’s campaign said it did not have “any new comments” beyond those provided for last week’s Scoopy’s Notebook column.

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