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A Suffolk candidate highly touted by state Senate Democrats seeking to expand their house majority in the fall has been ruled off the ballot because she was found to have resided outside the state within the past five years.
State Supreme Court Justice John C. Bivona, a Democrat, in a 10-page opinion voided the petitions of Regina Calcaterra to run on the Democratic and Working Families lines against veteran Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson).
Calcaterra’s election lawyer, Jerry Goldfeder, said an appeal will be heard next Tuesday and “we’re looking forward to the Appellate Division reversing” Bivona’s ruling.
Bivona noted that the the state constitution has been interpreted to say a state legislator must reside in New York for five years “immediately preceding his or her election.” He found “reluctantly” that she didn’t qualify because between November 2005 and May 2006 she voted, maintained her bank account, filed income taxes and obtained a divorce in Pennsylvania, and surrendered her New York driver’s license.
Bivona, also blasted as “shameful allegations” a claim of a “sham” by citizen plaintiffs — Ely Chaimowitz, Mary Magnifico and Maria Re-Kilmartin.
Calcaterra argued that during the disputed period, she “regularly lived in both New York City apartments leased on her behalf by her law firm, as well as with her sister in Suffolk County” and paid New York taxes.