A federal court judge Tuesday denied a motion by Republican candidate Jack Martins to move the general election to Dec. 6 because a GOP primary now has been ordered in the race to fill the seat held by U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Melville).
In an earlier federal ruling, a primary was scheduled for Oct. 6 for fraud investigator Philip Pidot to oppose Martins. Pidot had challenged a lower court’s decision not to let him on the ballot because his petition signatures were verified too close to the June 28 primary.
Martins argued that an Oct. 6 Republican primary would disenfranchise overseas military voters, and the election would be in violation of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, which mandates that states transmit ballots to overseas and military voters 45 days in advance of an election. Martins wanted to move the general election for the 3rd Congressional District race from Nov. 8 to Dec. 6. The district covers part of eastern Queens as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties.
The winner of the GOP primary will face Democrat Tom Suozzi, the former Nassau County executive.
“The federal court’s decision disregards the federal law designed to protect our servicemen and women and compromises our military’s right to vote in the general election, ” Martins said in a statement after the judge ruled against delaying the Nov. 8 election.
“I’m not sure how may courts need to tell Jack Martins that the way to get elected to Congress is to debate the issues with your opponent in front of voters,” Suozzi said in a statement.