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Zephyr Teachout
Democratic candidate for governor Zephyr Teachout speaks during a news conference on Monday, June 16, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. Teachout, a liberal New York law professor, formally announced her primary campaign against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying he is too focused on his own ambitions and the interests of wealthy donors. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Will Cuomo Face A Primary Challenge? Judge Decides Today



(AP) Liberal law professor Zephyr Teachout is expected to learn whether her bid to oust Gov. Andrew Cuomo in next month's Democratic Primary can continue when a judge announces his decision on whether her name can go on the ballot.

Supporters of Cuomo challenged Teachout's candidacy on the grounds that she fails to meet the state's five-year residency requirement to run. Teachout, a Fordham University law professor, said she moved to the state in 2009, even though she only obtained a New York driver's license this year.

Cuomo's backers also point to documents from the past five years on which Teachout listed a Vermont address.

  Hear Teachout
from WBEN's Hardline program
with NY Daily News's Ken Lovett and GOP Candidate Rob Astorino

Teachout's campaign has threatened to embarrass Cuomo's plans for an easy re-election by highlighting concerns from some left-leaning Democrats that he has strayed from Democratic principles by supporting business-friendly tax cuts and charter schools.

Teachout, who lives in Brooklyn, said she has spent time during the summers in Vermont, where she was raised and where her family still lives.

The residency challenge was filed by suburban New York City residents Harris Weiss and Austin Sternlicht, registered Democrats who are represented in the case by former state Sen. Martin Connor, a New York attorney who specializes in election law. A judge was expected to issue a ruling on Monday.

In court last week, Connor questioned Teachout about why she waited until this year to obtain a New York driver's license and pointed to a 2012 campaign finance record on which she had listed an old Vermont address. She called it a harmless error.

Connor also questioned her about a 2009 tax return that asked how many months she had lived in New York at the time of the filing. She originally answered zero months but recently amended the return to change it to six months.

Teachout mounted her bid to oust Cuomo after losing the endorsement of the left-leaning Working Families Party to the governor this spring. Cuomo won the backing of the party after noting his work to pass gay marriage and gun control laws and promising to work for a higher minimum wage and broad public campaign financing.

Polls show her campaign remains unknown to many voters.

The Democratic Primary is Sept. 9. The ballot also will include a third candidate, comedian and drug law critic Randy Credico.

Other contenders in the governor's race include Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins.


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