800 signtures is not enough

Kendall Stewart

It looks like Kendall Stewart can kiss his political career goodbye.

The former councilman (D-Flatbush) was booted from the ballot of his last political toehold -— the unpaid and unsung post of district leader — by the Board of Elections on Thursday, paving the way for long-time nemesis Weyman Carey to run solely against Cory Provost.

In baseball terms, it’s the equivalent of being cut by a minor league team.

In total, Stewart had collected less than 800 signatures — just a few hundred more than 500 required to get on the ballot — and only 204 of those were valid, according to board spokeswoman Valerie Vasquez. To be safe, most politicians collect a minimum of four-times the required amount.

The ouster of Stewart, who served for eight years in the council before he was trounced in 2009 in his re-election bid by Jumaane Williams in both a six-way Democratic primary and the general election (when he carried the Independence Party’s flag) — also brings to a close his rancorous rivalry with Carey, who was district leader in the early 1990s before he lost the position Stewart. He reclaimed it in 2004 when Stewart, then snug in the council, decided against running, only to lose again to Stewart in 2006.

Their feud worsened when Stewart bumped Carey from his election commissioner post, contending that to hold the district leadership and the election commissionership at the same time was a conflict of interest. He also tried to get the City Council, which must approve election commissionerships, to decline Carey’s appointment.

Done with the daggers -for now, Carey was magnanimous about the future of Stewart’s political career.

“Never say never, I thought mine was over, but I came back,” he said.

But, he managed to hurl a zinger over the embattled podiatrist’s latest political setback.

“You can say he was rejected by the people of the district.”

His latest humiliation has Stewart licking his wounds far away from the spotlight. He couldn’t be reached at press time, his cell phone was not accepting messages and the secretary in his podiatry office said he was out of the country until Aug. 8.

Stewart’s ouster sent a ripple through the Democratic community, but nothing that would shake the Richter scale.

One district leader, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that Stewart has lost touch with his voters.

“He became too important in his own mind,” the source advised. “Tell him to get off that pedestal.”

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