As it turns out, Brian Benjamin won't be on the New York Ballot after all.
Legislation has been passed that would allow people who have been arrested or charged with a crime to be removed from state ballots.
Lawmakers in New York passed a bill on Monday that made it easier to remove Brian A. Benjamin, the former lieutenant governor of New York who was indicted on federal bribery charges. Benjamin resigned after being indicted.
After other efforts to remove Benjamin Benjamin from the ballot failed, the law was changed to make it easier for Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat.
If a candidate has been arrested or charged with a minor or major crime after being nominated, they can be removed from the ballot if they don't want to serve. Soon, Ms. Hochul will sign the bill into law.
Benjamin made a statement on Twitter on Monday. He said that he would sign the paperwork to remove his name from the ballot. "I am not guilty of these unsubstantiated claims." However, he said, "I would not be able to serve in this way."
As long as a candidate was on the ballot, they could not be removed unless they died, moved, or were nominated for another office. The new law changes that. According to New York law, people who have been convicted of felonies are allowed to run for and hold public office. A politician who has been found guilty of a felony while in office will be removed from office.
If Ms. Hochul, a Democrat, had not been able to change the law, she might have had to run in November with a running mate who had been chosen as the No. 2 by one of her Democratic primary opponents.
It was seen as an abuse of power by Democrats on Ms. Hochul's left and by Republicans who didn't like her. They said that she shouldn't have been able to change the rules in the middle of a meeting because it worked for her.
An activist who wants to be lieutenant governor says that "the rules of democracy are very important." Ana Maria Archila is running for governor. "And how you do democracy, how you participate in it, is how you show that you believe in it."
Other than the Governor, who is the most powerful person in New York state, does anyone else think it's weird that they're changing the rules of the election they're running in mid-game? Robert G. Ortt, the minority leader of the State Senate, wrote about it on Twitter.
Members of the Senate majority, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, said she didn't want to make changes to election laws while the election was already going on. Some of her Democratic colleagues in the party's progressive wing didn't like the idea of giving political favors to Ms. Hochul after they had a hard time with the budget.
There were a lot of people who thought it was bad for the voters to keep someone like Benjamin, who doesn't even know he wants to run for office, on the ballot.
When we start to change, there is always a very extreme example that helps us to do so." Assemblewoman Amy Paulin of New York's Westchester County was the bill's co-author. Voters should choose someone who is going to serve, so this is how it works. In this case, "politics" is not the subject.
Political observers, on the other hand, said that sharing a ticket with someone who has been indicted by the federal government was not the best thing for Ms. Hochul to do. Mr. Benjamin has said that he is not guilty.
The governor, who is running for her first full term, was a big hit when she took over the governor's office after her predecessor, Andrew M. Cuomo, resigned over accusations of sexual harassment. As you know, Mr. Cuomo has said that he did not do anything wrong.
In no time at all, Ms. Hochul was building a campaign that would raise more than $20 million in record time, making her the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic nomination.
She got $850 million for a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills and made changes to the state's bail laws during a difficult budget process. This ruined a lot of the good will she had with lawmakers. Voters don't like her, and a Siena College poll shows that her approval rating is in the mid-40s. She has only just begun to spend some of her campaign funds on ads highlighting budget accomplishments.
Under the new process, Mr. Benjamin's replacement will soon be chosen by a group of people who are looking for jobs. Ms. Hochul is likely to have some say in the process.
The chosen candidate will fight Diana Reyna, a former New York City councilwoman who is running with Rep. Thomas Suozzi of Long Island, and Maria Archila, the New York City public advocate, who is running with Rep. Jumaane Williams, the city's public advocate.
It is very likely that Ms. Hochul will choose her new running mate to be lieutenant governor until the end of her term, but it is also possible that she will choose someone else to be interim governor.
Lawmakers from all sides of the political spectrum spoke on the Senate floor Monday. Some said the measure would unfairly help Ms. Hochul, while others said it was a good idea.
Legislator Liz Krueger, who is behind the bill, says the public doesn't think that having a person who has been convicted on their ballot makes them more likely to vote.
A Republican proposal to delay the bill's implementation until next year would have put Mr. Benjamin on the ballot, which would have been bad for him because he would have had to vote. People in Assemblyman Michael Lawler's district in Rockland County thought it was a good idea. "Nobody's against that."
Democrats didn't like the amendment.