The New York State Court of Appeals upheld the state Supreme Court’s verdict allowing Great Neck resident and Democratic candidate for New York’s Third Congressional District Michael Weinstock to appear on the ballot in the Democratic primary after an opponent in the election challenged the legitimacy of the signatures he collected.
State election law requires that a congressional candidate running in a district submit signatures collected for 375 residents of that district in order to have their name appear on the ballot. Joshua Sauberman, a formal competitor for the third district seat who now supports Melanie D’Arrigo’s bid for the office, submitted a challenge contending that a number of Weinstock’s supporting signatures (his campaign said he submitted twice the required amount) were not collected from district residents. The charges were dismissed by the Supreme Court, a move the appellate court upheld, on the grounds that Sauberman had not served the complaints within the required timespan or by proper methods, using express mail instead of the certified mail required by the process.
Sauberman’s council also served Weinstock on a Saturday, a violation of state law since Weinstock is an observant Jew. Sauberman’s team attempted to argue that Weinstock was, in fact, not observant, which led to Weinstock having to present evidence that he has a history of not conducting business matters on the Sabbath, among other things.
“I’m elated that the court ruled in my favor,” Weinstock said. “I can tell the story now in a lighthearted way, but it was very anxiety-producing to have to prepare for these hearings. Being Jewish is one of the cornerstones of my life.”