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Martins seeks injunction in 3rd Congress race court fight

Republican Jack Martins warned on Friday, Sept. 2,

Republican Jack Martins warned on Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, that protracted legal fighting over the election in the 3rd Congressional District could confuse voters. Photo Credit: James Carbone


Republican Jack Martins on Friday filed for a court injunction to stop any more absentee ballots from being mailed to voters in the GOP primary for the 3rd Congressional District race. He also warned that the protracted legal fighting could confuse voters.

Although a federal court has already rescheduled the Republican primary to Oct. 6 between Martins and Philip Pidot, Martins is appealing a loss in U.S. District Court in Albany on Tuesday. That decision denied Martins’ effort to move the general election for the 3rd Congressional District to December, rather than the November general election. Part of Martins’ appeal also would stop the primary from being held on Oct. 6.

Martins, a state senator, said his motion on Friday was aimed at avoiding confusing voters should he win his appeals and change the dates of the primary and general elections.

“Jack Martins’ crusade against democracy knows no bounds,” Pidot said Friday. “This can serve no purpose other than to create more havoc in an election he has already thrown into chaos.”

A federal appeals court on Friday granted Martins’ motion for an expedited appeal and ordered that the Republicans submit their arguments by Sept. 8. Pidot has opposed that, arguing that Martins had already “inexcusably delayed this appeal” extending the case well into the campaign season.

Martins’ spokesman E. O’Brien Murray said the injunction is needed to “to make sure the voters are not confused while the case is proceeding” and will still provide time for absentee ballots to be counted.

“While our opponents and their Democratic attorneys were fighting against expediting the process, we are making sure the voters have a decision as soon as possible,” Murray said.

Without the injunction stopping the mailing of more absentee ballots, Martins would be “irreparably harmed,” his lawyers argued in Friday’s filings to the appellate court.

Martins warned there would be further confusion by voters because they will receive Republican primary ballots about the time they will receive general election ballots. The winner between Pidot, of Glen Cove, and Martins, of Old Westbury, will face Democrat Thomas Suozzi, of Glen Cove. Suozzi is a former Nassau County executive.

The seat is open because Rep. Steve Israel is retiring.

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