YONKERS, NY — May 21, 2020 — I agree, negative campaigning, and lies should have no part in politics during a pandemic, and a judicial race. Neither should voter intimidation of people that signed my petitions, which is currently being investigated by the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.
What should never be a part of campaigning is political party propaganda disguised as journalism, and harassment of candidates. On May 15, 2020, I emailed Mr. Murphy about publishing my open letter to voters in the Yonkers Rising. Based on my previous request to be featured in his newspaper, I expected him to consult with Democratic Party Leader Tom Meier. Instead, a week later, and while waiting for a response, I saw Mr. Murphy briefly mentioned me in his May 21, 2020, Yonkers Times article. For the record, I never asked anyone to nominate me at the Democratic Convention. Additionally, I never previously commented on the Convention because it is irrelevant to me, and the primary is what determines the next judges in Yonkers City Court.
There is information about this year’s judicial race that was not shared in Mr. Murphy’s article. For months, I have been harassed by Democratic Party friend and blogger Delfim Heusler. Until May 12, 2020, I did not contact the Yonkers Police Department to file a complaint in order to avoid any public maligning of my reputation or retribution. This was the day after Mr. Heusler published a story in furtherance of the political drama between the Yonkers Democratic Party and Zehy Jereis. In the aforementioned story, Mr. Heusler used “unnamed sources” in a attempt to falsely connect me to Mr. Jereis. Refusing to ignore the attack on my reputation, I drafted a cease and desist letter to Mr. Heusler. Fearing the letter would not be enough to curtail his behavior, I contacted the police department.
I initially decided to document the harassment instead of filing a complaint because I was under the impression that Mr. Heusler has various cognitive disabilities, and he lacked the ability to understand the consequences of his actions; however, I am sure he was not Facebook messaging the other judicial candidates every day. I began to realize I was wrong to give him the benefit of the doubt when his behavior began to appear calculated. The first indication was his post about Dan Romano submitting his petitions, and he then posted a similar story about me, but asking if the party would challenge my signatures. I then researched Mr. Heusler’s background, and found that he is a longtime family friend of judicial candidate, Thomas Daly and other Democratic Party insiders. Additionally, there are various articles about Mr. Heusler’s attempt at running for office and allegations of political trickery.
When interviewed by the responding officers, I explained how Mr. Heusler messaged me for months. My responses to his messages were polite and short to keep professional distance. Mr. Heusler would repeatedly request to interview me regarding my candidacy, and I would always avoid committing to a date because I feared being alone in the same room with him. Additionally, once I submitted my petitions he sent me a message stating, “I hear through my informants that you filed signatures, Good luck. Del.” He then changed his Facebook profile picture to include someone from the Democratic Party. After that incident, I stopped replying to his messages. For approximately four to five weeks, he continuously contacted me one to two times a day, even though I never responded. He then sent text messages to my cellular phone without prior authorization because I never gave him my number.
I share this story because at some point I had to say, “Enough is enough.” I never imagined running for a judicial position would be this adversarial, and quite frankly, sophomoric. Please, l would like to get back to the issue that is important, which is making sure the Democratic voters have the opportunity to vote for who they believe is the best candidate.