Cuomo Challenger Fighting to Stay on the Ballot
Zephyr Teachout to defend her residency in Brooklyn Supreme Court
Law professor Zephyr Teachout will head to court to defend her campaign to unseat Gov. Andrew Cuomo against claims that she hasn't lived in New York long enough to be on next month's Democratic Primary ballot.
Supporters of Cuomo say Teachout has spent significant portions of the past five years living in Vermont and should be disqualified from running for governor. The state's Constitution requires candidates for governor to reside within the state for at least five years before an election.
Teachout, who now lives in Brooklyn, said she moved to New York in 2009 when she was hired by Fordham University. She said she has spent time during the summers in Vermont, where she was raised and where her family still lives, but that she remains a New York resident.
"I am completely confident that we will stay on the ballot and I welcome this challenge," Teachout told the Associated Press. "It's just evidence that Cuomo doesn't want to face a primary. He doesn't want to face questions about his leadership."
Legal proceedings in the challenge to Teachout's residency get underway Thursday in Supreme Court in Brooklyn and are expected to take three days.
The effort to take Teachout's name off the ballot was filed by Harris Weiss and Austin Sternlicht, who are represented in the case by former state Senator Martin Connor, a New York attorney who specializes in election law. Connor declined to comment Wednesday on the challenge.
A spokesman for Cuomo's campaign also declined to comment on the challenge Wednesday.
Teachout mounted her bid to oust Cuomo after losing the endorsement of the left-leaning Working Families Party to the governor this spring. Cuomo won the backing of the party after promising to work for liberal priorities, including a higher minimum wage and broad public campaign financing.
Teachout has criticized Cuomo for backing business-friendly tax policies and charter schools and says he hasn't done enough to combat income inequality. Polls show her campaign remains unknown to many voters.
The Democratic Primary is Sept. 9.