WXXI AM News

Despite challenge, Robin Wilt remains on Assembly ballot, at least for now

Jul 20, 2018

The Monroe County Board of Elections says that Robin Wilt, a Democrat from Brighton, remains a candidate on the ballot for New York State Assembly in the 136th District.

That’s after the board held a hearing Friday regarding challenges made to her petitions.

Among those challenges, one from the campaign manager for Democratic Assembly candidate Jaclyn Richard. Her campaign is challenging Wilt, claiming she does not meet a residency requirement to run for the Assembly because of some time she spent in the state of Washington in recent years.

But Monroe County Democratic Elections Commissioner Tom Ferrarese says the county board can only consider issues that specifically involve a  candidate’s petitions.

“When we rule on a petition objection we need to have it on the face of the petition, in other words it has to be about the petition, signatures, witnesses, candidate information in terms of address or name, stuff like that, office."

He addes that, "this residency issue is definitely something that is beyond that and it’s not something in which we can rule; so, at that point, kind of have to leave it in the hands of the courts and as far as we’re concerned it kind of retains that presumption of validity."

Ferrarese says if another person wants to challenge something like the residency requirement they will have to bring that case up in State Supreme Court. Jaclyn Richard’s campaign manager, Nelson Lopatin says the campaign is still reviewing its options.

Candidate Jamie Romeo, who is also Chair of the Monroe County Democratic Committee, says that as a candidate, her campaign intends to pursue the residency issue in the courts.

In the past, Wilt’s campaign has said it does believe she meets the residency requirements.

At this point, there is a 4-way Democratic Primary shaping up for that seat including Wilt, Richard, Romeo and Todd Grady.

The 136th district Assembly seat is now held by Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle of Irondequoit, but he is not running for re-election since he is a candidate for the 25th Congressional district seat previously held by Louise Slaughter, who died earlier this year.