Backers of GOP Assemb. Andrew Raia have filed suit in State Supreme Court to throw Democratic challenger Michael Marcantonio off the ballot, citing the constitutional requirement that he live in the state for five years and the 12th District for one year.
No hearing date has yet been filed since State Supreme Court Justice John Leo recused himself from the case, and no new judge has been assigned. The Suffolk Board of Elections is reviewing the residency issue and other objections that Raia backers Ralph A. Notaristefano, Paul D’Alessio and Kathleen Barnhart filed to Marcantonio’s nominating petitions.
Marcantonio, 31, an attorney, said Raia’s objections are “pure politics.” Marcantonio noted that he has raised more than $107,000 for the race, twice as much as Raia, a 16-year lawmaker.
Raia said Marcantonio, “has never even voted for the office of state Assembly in New York State, but yet he wants people to actually vote for him the very first time he decided to participate in our Democratic process.”
In court papers, Raia backers say Marcantonio failed to meet the five-year state residency requirement because he previously was a resident of North Carolina and only returned to New York in the past three years. They say Marcantonio lived in Durham, voting there and registering his car there in 2014.
The court papers say Marcantonio does not meet the one-year requirement for district residency because he “lived at two separate addresses in Manhattan where he is listed as signing a lease.”
Marcantonio said he is a lifelong Northport resident, and should not be prevented from running because he attended Duke University Law School out of state and sometimes must sleep over in New York City after working long hours at a Manhattan law firm.
Marcantonio, a first time candidate, said he registered to vote in North Carolina to help combat what he called Republican voter suppression efforts.
“I have a driver’s license from my Northport address, my voters registration is Northport and my [income] taxes are filed from Northport," he said.
Raia said Marcantonio has never voted in a general election in the state, or in a school budget vote or an election for fire district commissioner.