A New York trucker is looking forward to a “low key, blue collar” run for congress after being previously accused of election wrongdoing.
Trucker Lonny Koons lives in Croghan, New York, and is set to run against congresswoman Elise Stefanik after previously dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination in the 21st congressional district in March. Koons dropped out of the race back in March after a video surfaced that appeared to show him filling out petition sheets fraudulently. Koons also claimed to have run out of campaign funds, contributing to his dropping out.
“I am doing this mainly because I cannot sustain a political campaign on my own,” he said to Adirondack Daily Enterprise back in March. “I had stayed afloat by pulling out half of my 401(k) and that is not enough.”
Koons says that he was not committing fraud on the petitions, but was making corrections and writing names that were illegible. It is not illegal for a petitioner to fill in the date and location for a signer, according to New York state election law.
“I was unaware that by me filling in date and city cells as well as printing names of the signees after the fact, that I was committing a fraudulent act,” he said in March. “I had obtained greater than the number of signatures required, but in order to have the paperwork filled out properly, I do not have the time.”
“I was dong everything myself, I was in a hurry, and I wasn’t forging signatures. I was going back and writing names above signatures,” Koons said to WWNYTV News, reiterating that all the signatures he had acquired were legitimate.
“I’ve had people tell me, ‘Hey you should have stayed in and made her (Stefanik) verify every one of those signatures.’ And she would have looked really stupid when they all came back as ‘Yes, we signed that.’”
Now, Koons is back in the race, and is hoping for a less dramatic attempt at securing the position of New York Congressman.
“I’m just going to do this as low key, blue collar as possible. I’m gonna rely on people hearing the word and seeing the fact that I’m an average person like them, not some elitist,” he said.
“She is literally just attacking average people and doesn’t care about us. She cares about her position and the elitists in this country, not us,” Koons said of Stefanik.
Koons is currently seeking volunteers to help circulate nominating petitions on his behalf.