The state appellate division in Brooklyn rejected would-be Republican challenger Philip Pidot’s effort to force a new date for a congressional primary election against State Senate Jack Martins for retiring Rep. Steve Israel’s Third district seat.
In a unanimous decision, the four-judge panel upheld State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Diamond’s ruling, which found that it was “impossible” for Pidot to be put on the June 28 primary ballot and said Diamond ruled properly in not rescheduling the primary to a new date.
The Appellate ruling says Pidot’s former attorney, John Sweeney, never sought a new election date in his original appeal and only made the request orally on the last day of the hearing, two days after he stated in court that he was only seeking to validate Pidot’s petition signatures.
The panel also rejected Martins’ lawyer’s appeal challenge that Pidot had more than the 1,250 signature needed to qualify for the ballot, saying the hearing court’s assessment of witness credibility ”is entitled to deference.”
Jerry Goldfeder, the attorney now handling Pidot’s appeals, said he filed papers in U.S. District Court in Albany earlier this week and expressed confidence that the court will order a primary so Republican voters in the 3rd District will have a choice.
E. O’Brien Murray, Martins’ campaign spokesman, said Pidot’s appeals are all but exhausted. “The decision in the state court stabs a knife into any arguments they have going forward,” he said.