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Candidate Knocked out of Queens BP Race Sues Governor for Cancelling Special Election

Jim Quinn (Jim Quinn for Queens campaign)

May 8, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Prosecutor Jim Quinn, a former candidate for Queens Borough President, filed a lawsuit against Governor Andrew Cuomo today for canceling the special election for the position.

Quinn was knocked out of the race when Cuomo signed an executive order cancelling the special election late last month in favor of the primary election scheduled for the same day.

Quinn only petitioned to run for the nonpartisan special election, which was rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic from its original March 24 date to June 23 — the same day as the Democratic primary.

The governor then axed the special election altogether instead of having two separate elections for the same position on the same day — forcing Quinn off the ballot.

Quinn’s suit calls for the special election to take place as was previously scheduled.

“Absent immediate relief here, I will lose my chance to run for the political office for which I was duly qualified to be on the ballot under the Election Law, and thousands of New Yorkers will lose ballot access for this important local election,” Quinn said in an emergency affidavit filed in Queens Supreme Court.

Quinn, who was the most conservative of the six candidates vying for borough president, also said the decision takes away the ability for non-Democrats to vote.

The special election did not involve political parties. Now only a Democratic primary will be held on June 23.

“Cancelling the Special Election for Queens Borough President will disfranchise non-democrat voters, who are ineligible to participate in the election process the Governor has allowed to proceed,” he wrote in the court filing.

Queens County Republican Party Chairperson Joann Ariola will run as the Republican candidate in the November general election.

Acting Borough President Sharon Lee will remain in the seat through the end of the year and the winner of the November general election will takeover on Jan 1, 2021.

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