Cuomo Backers In Court to Fight Rival’s Campaign

NEW YORK (AP) -

Supporters of Gov. Andrew Cuomo returned to court Tuesday to continue their effort to knock law professor Zephyr Teachout off next month’s Democratic primary ballot, claiming she doesn’t meet the state Constitution’s five-year residency requirement to run.

A lower court judge ruled last week in Teachout’s favor; the ruling was appealed and a decision from a panel of appellate judges is expected later this week.

Teachout has said the challenge is a “frivolous” attempt by Cuomo’s campaign to silence opposition to his re-election. The Fordham University law professor has emerged as a leading liberal irritant to the governor, and her presence on the ballot threatens Cuomo’s plan to win a second term by an overwhelming majority.

The two men behind the challenge — Harris Weiss and Austin Sternlicht — are listed as Cuomo campaign interns. Their attorney, Martin Connor, argues that Teachout “retroactively” changed her residency from Vermont when she decided to challenge Cuomo. Teachout obtained a New York driver’s license this spring.

Teachout says she has resided in New York since taking her job at Fordham in 2009, despite stints teaching at Harvard University and a fellowship in Washington.