In one sentence, Article IV Section 2 of the New York State Constitution lays out the qualifications for becoming the state’s governor:
“No person shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenant-governor, except a citizen of the United States, of the age of not less than thirty years, and who shall have been five years next preceding the election a resident of this state.”
Teachout is facing a Cuomo-backed legal challenge to her residency, which claims Teachout hasn’t been a continuous resident of New York for the last five years. The challenge accuses Teachout of maintaining a driver’s license in other states over the past five years, while not formally changing her address to a New York residence until well after she started teaching at Fordham Law School in 2009.
The case in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn was brought by two lower Hudson Valley residents: Austin Sternlicht of Rye and Harris Weiss of New City, the same two people who are challenging Teachout’s petitions to get on the ballot. But by all appearances, Sternlicht and Weiss are plaintiffs in name only; they’re being represented by former state Senate Minority Leader Martin Connor, a prominent election-law lawyer who has questioned Teachout’s residency for months.
“Teachout is not qualified to hold the office of Governor of the State of New York since she has not been a continuous resident of the State from November 9, 2009 to the present time as mandated by Article IV, Section 2, of the New York State Constitution,” according to Connor’s filing.
In a response to the challenge — first reported by Capital New York — Teachout’s attorney points to her start date at Fordham Law in Manhattan: August 2009. Her response denies holding out-of-state driver’s licenses for long periods of times over the last five years and changing her address long arriving in New York in 2009.
In an interview with host Fred Dicker on WGDJ-AM on Friday, Teachout said she is eligible to run, calling it an “open and shut case.”
“Most importantly, it shows again (Cuomo’s) weakness,” Teachout said. “Why is he trying to kick me off the ballot?”
(Mike Groll/AP file photo)