Joseph Marthone is dreaming big.
After being eliminated from his bid to claim the District 28 City Council seat long held by the late Tom White Jr., the Jamaica accountant has decided to challenge state Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica) as a write-in candidate this November.
“I have been able to reach out to people by handing out flyers and knocking on doors,” Marthone said. “When people find out what I’m about, they want to vote for me. They want to challenge the establishment.”
Marthone thought he would have a few days after submitting the signatures required to get on the council ballot to mail in a certificate of acceptance, but that was not the case. The Board of Elections held a hearing and decided that since he missed the deadline by three days — filing on Sept. 16 instead of Sept. 13 — he was out of the running.
Instead of filing an appeal, Marthone has decided to compete against Huntley, something he has tried before with poor results — receiving only one write-in vote in 2006. But that hasn’t dampened his optimism. He is convinced that he can win this time around — provided that he can get his message out to enough voters.
“It opens up an opportunity for people and lets them know they have another option,” Marthone said. “Those who are politically conscious, who feel that we deserve better, will take the extra five to seven seconds to write Joseph Marthone on the ballot.”
If elected, Marthone says job creation, healthcare and education will be among his top priorities, and he already has some detailed plans on how he would go about making changes. He was also quick to criticize Huntley and the Democratic establishment in Queens.
“Ask yourself, what are they doing for us? If they were on top of the game, we would not have the conditions that we currently have,” Marthone said. “They should be doing more than just occupying a seat.”