Libertarians won a long-fought ballot access victory in court on Friday over incumbent New York State Senator Carl Marcellino (R-5th District).
Marcellino and several of his staffers sought to have their sole opponent on the ballot – Libertarain Gigi Bowman – removed from the ballot by filing a challenge to her qualifying petition. The fifth senate district covers portions of Long Island’s north shore in Suffolk and Nassau Counties.
On September 29, the Nassau Supreme Court denied Bowman’s motion to dismiss for late service, and granted her motion to transfer the case to Albany County. On Friday, October 24, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department reversed that denial and ruled in favor of Bowman (Wilson et al. v. Bowman, 3rd Dept. Index No. 519828).
Gary Donoyan, attorney for Bowman, said “Senator Marcellino’s petition to invalidate Gigi Bowman’s candidacy failed to meet the very strict requirements for timely service that everyone else must meet. The Nassau Supreme Court should have tossed this case out weeks ago. We are grateful to the Appellate Division, Third Department for upholding the law and reversing the Nassau Supreme Court’s decision.”
Non-recognized party candidates running for the state senate must collect at least 3,000 signatures to get on the ballot. Bowman was the only Libertarian running for state senate in New York able to meet this difficult threshold for the 2014 ballot.
If Libertarian for governor Michael McDermott wins at least 50,000 votes on November 4, the NY LP will gain party status for four years, which will cut the signature requirement for Libertarians running for legislature by two-thirds.
Note: the Marcellino campaign has filed an appeal. We will update the blog when more details become available.