The state Court of Appeals Thursday affirmed an Appellate Court decision, keeping a candidate in the Democratic primary for Rockland County executive off the ballot.
The Court of Appeals, in a 7-0 decision, upheld the Appellate Court ruling, keeping Village of Suffern Mayor Dagan LaCorte off the ballot. Jerry Goldfeder, a prominent election lawyer representing LaCorte, says the ruling favors form over substance.
The first time LaCorte was considered off the ballot came after Rockland’s Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner said LaCorte was 74 signatures short of the 2,000 necessary to secure a spot. This was after many signatures were ruled invalid following numerous objections to LaCorte’s petition filed by the campaign of rival David Fried. LaCorte then took the matter to state Supreme Court and was returned to the ballot. Fried’s campaign appealed the ruling and won. That’s when LaCorte took the matter to the state Court of Appeals, which agreed to hear the case, and ruled in Fried’s favor. Again, here’s Goldfeder.
Fried Campaign Manager Stephen Papas praised the ruling and says it’s time to move forward.
In its decision, the state Court of Appeals ruled that LaCorte did not sufficiently specify which determinations of the Rockland County Board of Elections were incorrect; that is, which signatures the Rockland Board of Elections invalidated erroneously. It was the same from the Appellate Division.
County Executive Scott Vanderhoef, a Republican, announced last year he would not seek reelection to a sixth term. County legislator Ilan Schoenberger is the other primary candidate. The winner of the Democratic primary faces Republican County Legislator Ed Day.