Jack Martins asks judge to push back general election in 3rd District

Jack Martins asks judge to push back general election in 3rd District

Republican Jack Martins on Friday asked a federal judge to push back November’s 3rd Congressional District election to Dec. 6 to give the GOP some breathing room after an Oct. 6 primary.

The filing in Syracuse federal court comes two days after Judge Frederick J. Scullin ordered a new primary between Martins, an Old Westbury state Senator, and Glen Cove fraud investigator Philip Pidot that will take place only a month before the general election.

Martins also asks Scullin to pull his Aug. 17 order, citing “equal protection problems” raised by the fact that Democrat Tom Suozzi would get five months to run his general election campaign, while Martins would get just one.

The new date would comply with a federal law requiring absentee ballots to be mailed at least at least 45 days before the election, Martins said in a statement.

“The October primary election date leaves 32 days for a general election, disenfranchising the military voters and even potentially the permanent absentee voters,” Martins said. “The military voters and all other voters in New York’s 3rd Congressional District deserve the same consideration of 50 days or more in the general election, just as the judge provided for the primary voters.”

The filing by Paul DerOhannesian II, Martins’ attorney, asks for a hearing on the matter “as soon as possible, even if conducted telephonically.”

The motion continues the court saga that Pidot initiated and has disrupted the race to replace Democratic Rep. Steve Israel in the North Shore district stretching from northeast Queens to northwest Suffolk County.

The only other time a federal court set a new general election date was in a 1982 case involving two congressional races in Georgia, according to a legal memo by Paul DerOhannesian II, Martins’ attorney.

Pidot and Suozzi, a former Nassau County executive, blasted the move in written statements on Friday. 

Kim Devlin, a Suozzi campaign consultant, accused Martins of “trying to litigate his way into Congress.”

“Martins’ failed electoral heist is now officially a parody of itself,” Pidot said. “He will stop at nothing to rob voters of their democratic choice.”

Pidot won a new primary on Wednesday after the state Board of Elections ruled in May that he lacked the 1,250 signatures required to make the ballot.

A state court ruled June 24 that Pidot in fact had enough signatures, but that printing new ballots with his name would be “impossible” before the scheduled June 28 primary. 

Martins and Pidot blamed each other for protracting court proceedings.

Martins has the backing of the district’s three county Republican committees and has gotten significant support from the National Republican Congressional Committee, making Pidot an underdog by a wide margin.

Pidot has called on the NRCC to remain neutral in the primary. 

The New York State Young Republicans group said Thursday that it will do so.

By Noah Manskar

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