Retired prosecutor Jim Quinn filed a lawsuit against Gov. Cuomo last Friday to reinstate the special election for Queens Borough President June 23.
Cuomo canceled the special election in late April. The special election was to take place the same day as the primary for the seat.
The Board of Elections also canceled the presidential primary scheduled for June 23 but a judge overruled the decision.
“I strongly believe — and there is precedent with the federal judge’s ruling on the presidential primary — that the outright cancellation of an election is an unnecessary abuse of power that deprives voters of their rights,” Quinn said in a statement, adding, “The people of Queens have suffered tremendously as a result of this virus, but they should not have their rights stripped from them as well.”
As of now, Quinn is out of the running entirely as he is not on a primary or general election ballot.
Businessman Dao Yin, who is on the Democratic primary ballot, also sued Cuomo to reinstate the special election, saying his order is illegal and invalid.
“Cuomo’s attempt to cancel the special election for Queens Borough President is nothing more than an unlawful power grab, plain and simple,” said Aaron Foldenauer, Yin’s election lawyer. “Notably, the governor is allowing a primary election to proceed on that very same day in Queens and thus he cannot even plausibly contend that cancelling the special election is due to COVID-19.”
The Democratic primary candidates are Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, retired NYPD Sgt. Anthony Miranda, Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) and Yin. The winner will face Queens Republican Chairwoman Joann Ariola-Shanks.
The winner of the special election was to hold the office until the end of the year.
The vote was called when District Attorney Melinda Katz took office Jan. 1 after serving as borough president since 2014. Sharon Lee has been Acting Borough President since Jan. 1.