Volume 76, Number 12 | August 9 - 15, 2006

Dispute over candidate’s primary home knocks him off primary ballot

By David Spett

Ken Diamondstone, who is running against incumbent Martin Connor for State Senate in the 25th District, may lose his spot on the September primary ballot if he doesn’t win an appeal in state Supreme Court this week.

On July 28, the city’s Board of Elections decided, 8-0 with one abstention, that Diamondstone had registered to vote within the district, at 200 Clinton St., one day after the deadline of Nov. 7, 2005. The challenge to Diamondstone was issued by Connor’s campaign. Yet, the Diamondstone campaign assured the candidate will run.

“We are extremely confident that this will be resolved. This isn’t the end of the line,” said Jesse Danzig, a Diamondstone spokesperson. Danzig said that if Diamondstone loses the court battle, he might be able to run as a candidate of the Working Families Party.

Marty Algaze, an aide to Martin Connor, questioned whether Diamondstone ever used 200 Clinton St. as a primary residence.

“We’re alleging all sorts of improprieties about whether he moved in time to run in this election and whether he plans to continue living there after the election,” Algaze said. “Even if he stayed on the ballot, he could be denied his seat if he wins the election.” Diamondstone has lived for 20 years at another Brooklyn location outside the district.

The Supreme Court’s decision on Diamondstone could be official as soon as Wed. Aug. 9, both Danzig and Algaze said.

In the three-way race in Civil Court District 2 between Margaret Chan, David Cohen and Andrea Masley, a lawyer for Masley’s campaign dropped a lawsuit against Chan on Aug. 3. The lawsuit claimed Chan had submitted an insufficient number of petition signatures to add her name to the ballot.

Masley’s campaign manager declined to comment. Michael Oliva, campaign manager for Chan, said the case was without merit and that Masley’s lawyer knew he had no chance of winning.

“Instead of counting our signature sheets, they counted the specification sheets that are provided to them. The specifications left off about 15 sheets of signatures,” Oliva said. “They did a bad job at it.”

Oliva added that Masley’s lawyer didn’t try very hard to win the case.

“I have a feeling that the guy really didn’t want to be doing it, which is why I don’t think he did a very thorough job on the specifications in the first place,” he said.

After the Aug. 3 victory to get on the ballot, Oliva expressed optimism about the future of Chan’s campaign.

“In a strange kind of way, getting challenged is sort of motivational for us and our supporters,” Oliva said. “Beating it is a powerful thing. I think that we have a very good shot at winning.”

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