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U.S. Court of Appeals overturns decision to hold 3rd District Republican primary

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The Second U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled against holding an Oct. 6 Republican primary in the 3rd Congressional District, which covers Nassau and Suffolk Counties, as well as parts of northeast Queens. The ruling overturns a previous decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District to hold the primary, and effectively ends Philip Pidot’s protracted legal challenge to state Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) for the Republican nomination.

According to the court summary, Martins had argued that a primary held Oct. 6 would leave less than 45 days between the primary and the general election Nov. 8. Martins also said that a late primary would cause voter confusion and place an undue burden on local boards of election.

Pidot did not appear on ballots for the June 28 Republican primary. The reason, the court summary said, is that although Pidot had submitted a sufficient amount of petitions, those petitions were validated in State Court only four days before the primary.

“For the past five months I have fought to preserve the rights of Long Island and Queens Republicans to choose in a primary between a machine-backed candidate who too often sold out his conservative principles in Albany and an actual conservative reformer,” Pidot said. “I am stunned, in all candor, at today’s Court of Appeals reversal that effectively ends any chance of that primary occurring—a primary between two equally validated candidates for the office.”

Martins will go up against former Nassau County Exec Tom Suozzi for the seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Steve Israel.

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhallum@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

Updated 1:35 pm, September 16, 2016
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