SAM Party will continue to run candidates despite federal appeals court setback

Serve America Movement Party. Image Credit -

Serve America Movement Party. Image Credit –

The Serve America Movement Party will continue to endorse candidates for the 2021 New York City mayoral race and the 2022 New York gubernatorial race despite a U.S. Court of Appeals judge’s rejection of its request to keep an automatic place on New York ballots. 

The announcement comes after the party was denied injunctive relief by the U.S. Court of Appeals to prevent the New York State Board of Elections from taking SAM off of ballots. SAM New York Chairman and former Pelham Mayor Michael Volpe called the ruling “a sad day for democracy” in a recent press release. 

SAM is a small political party that says it focuses on creating a unique, multifaceted political movement. The party is composed of former Democrats, Republicans and independents.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has led the charge to eliminate smaller political parties in New York, including SAM. In a press release, SAM-NY called the governor’s move autocratic, as he pushed a change to election rules through by using the 2019 state budget with minimal debate. 

The new rule requires small political parties to not only participate in the governor’s race but the presidential campaign as well to qualify for an automatic spot on the ballot. In 2018, SAM secured an automatic spot on the New York State ballot for the next four years when its gubernatorial candidate, former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, received more than 50,000 votes in the race.

Cuomo’s move erased that gain. If the ongoing appeal in the federal courts is denied, SAM will be required to gather thousands of signatures in order to get each of its candidates on to the ballot. 

SAM did not have a 2020 presidential candidate in New York because the party felt that would not advance their goals. “SAM-NY chose not to run a presidential candidate in 2020 because our strategy is focused on building a viable party nationwide over a number of years,” said SAM National Chairman David Jolly. “Running a presidential ticket in 2020 in one state would not advance our plan, and we were not willing to participate in it.”

SAM argued that a forced association with another party’s presidential candidate violated the Bill of Rights.

“Requiring our party to support Trump, Biden or anyone else,” SAM stated in the press release, “is not compatible with SAM’s foundational principles.” 

Following the failed appeal for injunctive relief, the trial on SAM’s case will continue in federal circuit court sometime this year. Volpe said that it is hard to estimate the date at this time, but he expects it to come within the next couple months. 

In the future, SAM wants to continue to create awareness of the party’s values and provide Americans with a third-party option in presidential and local elections.

“We want to localize and gain more support, as well as get candidates that address everyday problems,” Volpe said. 

SAM will continue to run candidates in local, county and state elections in New York through 2021 and 2022.