Reform Party of New York State

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Reform Party of New York
Chairman Curtis Sliwa
Founded 2000 (2000) (original)
Headquarters Staten Island, New York
Ideology Populist, Electoral Reform
National affiliation None
Colors Purple
New York State Assembly
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New York State Senate
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New York City Council
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The Reform Party of New York State (also known as the New York State Reform Party) is the name of two unrelated political parties in the state of New York: a qualified party active only in New York State, and the New York branch of the Reform Party of the United States of America.The New York branch of the Reform Party of the USA Chair is Bill Merrell, even if Curtis Sliwa obtains a position as chair of the new unaffiliated party, which is pending appeal in NYS. Curtis Sliwa has already stated that the Reform Party in NY will no longer be affiliated with the National Reform Party.

Original N.Y.S. Reform Party[edit]

The National Reform Party had originally been affiliated with the Independence Party of New York from 1996 to 2000, during which Jack Essenberg was the NYS Chair of the Independence Party of New York State. The Independence Party separated from the national Reform Party in 2000. The National Reform Party has had a state branch in New York [1] since 2007. It did not achieve ballot access in any statewide races between 2007 and 2014, but did get various candidates onto the ballot in local elections, most prominently Carl Person, who ran under the Reform Party banner in the 2013 New York City mayoral election. There have been hundreds of candidates offered the nomination and endorsement of the Reform Party in New York State between 2007 and 2014. Currently the Reform Party has ballot access.

The New York branch of the National Reform Party is managed by volunteers of the national party. The New York State Chair of the Official Reform Party is Bill Merrell, Ph.D., who serves as the Chairman of the National Reform Party. Effective 1-1-2017 having been elected to the position of National Reform Party Chairperson for a 4-year term. The Past National Reform Party Chair is David Collison, from Texas. Bill Merrell has been elected to the Qualified Reform Party and holds a seat on the legal interim committee. Effective January 12, 2016, Bill Merrell has become the chairman of the Interim Reform Party in New York State. Bill Merrell is already State Chair of the Nationally Affiliated Reform Party of New York State. Both organizations are working together to benefit New York State and the voters of New York.

The Original National Reform Party NYS and the Anti Common Core Party NY Reform Party are working together. The 2 Reform Parties are unified on many issues including Anti-Common Core platform.

Qualified Reform Party[edit]

In 2014, Rob Astorino, the Republican Party's nominee in that year's gubernatorial election, petitioned to create the “Stop Common Core Party,” a single-issue ballot line designed to declare opposition to the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Under New York State Law, the Stop Common Core Party would qualify to automatically appear on the ballot for every election through 2018 if it received at least 50,000 votes in the gubernatorial election, a threshold it narrowly achieved despite Astorino's overall loss.

On February 17, 2015, Astorino announced he would change the name of the party to the "Reform Party" to broaden its appeal beyond a single issue.[2] The party initially ran into opposition from the Conservative Party of New York State, who balked at allowing another ballot line to cross-endorse its candidates.[3] Marie Smith became the chairperson of the state's newly created/balloted Reform Party.[4] Marie Smith stepped down as Chairperson, and Bill Merrell was elected on January 12, 2016. The NYS Reform Party as authorized by the National Reform Party is in full support and cooperatively working together to benefit all members of the Reform Party. The NYS Reform party has added its opposition to common core to its web site and values page.

National Reform Party presidential candidate Rocky De La Fuente is not on the New York party line and is running in the state as a write-in candidate.[5] No candidate appears on the state Reform Party's Presidential ballot.[6]

The national party lost control of the state party in September 2016 when Curtis Sliwa and Frank Morano led a coup of the party, installing Sliwa as chairman. Merrell sued to invalidate the coup but lost. It is currently under appeal[7] The original decision from Albany-based Supreme Court Justice Christina Ryba dismissed this suit. Much of her order was based on technical grounds, but she also argued that the fundamental logic behind the challenge was “flawed in several regards.” "We're appealing it," Merrell said. "We feel the decision has no basis in law." Currently, an appeal has been filed as to Supreme Court Justice Christina Ryba's decision.[8]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Reisman, Nick (February 17, 2015). Astorino files for Reform Party, officially. Time Warner Cable News. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  3. ^ Lovett, Ken (March 9, 2015). Dan Donovan ignores Reform Party at Conservative Party chair's request. New York Daily News. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  4. ^ Janison, Dan (September 1, 2015). Upstate upstart would crash Cuomo's party. Newsday. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  5. ^ New York has approximately 30 declared write-in candidates, list still isn't final.
  6. ^ Cattaraugus County, NY sample ballot, November 8, 2016 election. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  7. ^ Mahoney, Bill (October 31, 2016). "Upstart group wins legal battle over control of the Reform Party". Politico. Retrieved October 31, 2016. 
  8. ^ Mahoney, Bill (October 31, 2016). "Upstart group wins legal battle over control of the Reform Party". Politico. Retrieved October 31, 2016. 

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