The appellate division in Brooklyn in a unanimous decision has upheld a lower court’s ruling removing Democratic Assembly candidate Michael Marcantonio from the November ballot because he did not meet the state’s five-year residency requirement.
The court upheld state Supreme Court Justice Richard Horowitz’s decision that Marcantonio did not meet the residency requirement because he registered to vote in Durham, North Carolina, and voted there in the 2012 and 2014 elections.
“The law is the law and applies equally to everybody and I’d hope Michael Marcantonio would accept the inevitable because the case law in the Court of Appeals is even stronger against him,” Raia, of East Northport, said after the ruling.
Marcantonio said he was “very disappointed” by the decision but was leaning toward seeking an appeal.
He called the residency ruling “inconsistent with good public policy,” which he said should encourage young people to vote without penalizing them for having political aspirations. He also said he will work to change state law to protect students from similar problems.
The appeals court did not address the counterclaim of Raia supporters that Democrats should be barred from naming a substitute candidate.
Horowitz originally also ruled the Democratic nominating petitions were invalid, but later revised his ruling after complaints from the Democrat’s attorney, limiting it to disqualifying Marcantonio.
Raia said he has not decided whether to appeal the petition issue. But if a substitute candidate is named, “I’m more than ready to discuss my record of accomplishments over the last 16 years,” he said.
Richard Schaffer, Suffolk Democratic chairman, said he has reached out to the Huntington, Babylon and Islip Democratic committees for an alternative candidate for the 12th District race, but will not make a final decision until the court case is concluded.