Today is the day: Will Suraj Patel be stopped?

Photo Credit: Suraj Patel

Today is the day of the New York 12th Congressional District Democratic Primary Election between 72-year-old incumbent Carolyn Maloney and 34-year-old Suraj Patel.

Maloney is running for her 14th term in Congress, while Patel is a hotel executive who teaches business ethics at New York University and has never run for Congress before.

The winner of this primary election will likely win the November general election since New York’s 12th Congressional District usually votes for the Democrat on the ballot.

While this Democratic primary may seem like just another primary, it is far from it. There is a lot at stake here, and what is at stake encompasses many issues, primarily surrounding Patel’s history.

I have read about several crazy Congressional candidates in recent weeks, but perhaps none have been as strange as Patel, and there are many reasons for this being the case.

Patel made headlines back in March when Facebook posts that he made back in August of 2012 about former Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney were revealed.

In these posts, he revealed his attraction to Maroney, who was only 16 years old at the time and had just gotten back from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, where she won a gold medal as a member of the “Fierce Five” United States women’s gymnastics team and a silver medal for her performance in the women’s vault final.

Here are pictures of these posts.

Suraj.jpg

Suraj Maroney.jpg

Instead of owning his inappropriate remarks and, at the very least, issuing an apology for making them, Patel claimed that he was “cyberbullied” when they were revealed and he faced the ensuing criticism. It seemed as though he wanted them to be ignored and for people to think he did nothing wrong.

Even back in 2012, Patel had a history of making inappropriate remarks about underage girls. He commented about the situation regarding actor John Stamos when he was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl back in 2010.

Patel stated that an affair with a 17-year-old girl is “not that bad”. Here is a photo of this post.

stamos-embed.jpg

This past week, it was revealed that Patel and several volunteers in his campaign have been using dating apps such as Tinder to “catfish” and flirt with potential voters.

Those in Patel’s campaign who are doing this are primarily using fake images to lure potential voters into “swiping right” before they reveal who they really are and try to get these potential voters to vote for Patel.

This practice, while Patel and his campaign are all for it and have even publicized that they are doing it despite the fact that they have admitted it is deceitful, is against Tinder’s rules. Here is what the Tinder website has to say about it.

“Don’t be fake. Be real instead. Soliciting other users is prohibited on Tinder. If the purpose of your message is to drive people to external websites via a link or otherwise, it is probably in violation of our terms of service and may get you banned from Tinder.”

Also, hotels owned by Patel currently face years of labor complaints, and Patel himself may have violated an election law because of the fact that he has spent all but $40,000 of the $1.2 million he has raised on the primary election, yet roughly $200,000 of those donations were designated for the general election.

In recent weeks, it has almost seemed like a waiting game for finding out what else Patel has done that is not exactly ethical, which is ironic given the fact that he teaches business ethics at New York University. Will these continued poor judgments prevent him from winning the primary election against Maloney?

The polls for this election are scheduled to open at 6:00 a.m. ET, and they are scheduled to remain open until 9:00 p.m. ET. Who will end up winning, Maloney or Patel?

 

-Asher Fair

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