The Marty Connor Challenge

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Is Ken Diamondstone a carpetbagger?

We’ll soon know the answers to that — and perhaps much more — as State Senator Martin Connor’s ballot challenge to Diamondstone in the race for the 25th senate district in Supreme Court heads into its third day.

If the court rules against Diamondstone, it would effectively bring to an end one of the more interesting insurgent primary campaigns in the city this year.

Both camps are under a gag order about the specifics of the court proceeding, but we did get Connor — whom the Diamondstone campaign has accused of “desperation” — to talk about what he’s doing to get his well-financed challenger thrown off the ballot.

His comments are after the jump.

“So what the Board of Elections did was look at their own records and their own records show that on November 7 he was registered outside the district so that’s what they have to rule on,” Connor said. “They can’t look at his lease, they can’t look at any documents he might have they can’t hear any testimony from witnesses. Now the court is revealing the entire picture. When he says he moved and what other evidence there is that he didn’t move in a timely manner. He didn’t move in time, basically, actually move.”

Diamondstone has said that he did in fact move to the district prior to that date, but failed to register before November 8. His campaign, which has been largely self-funded, is attempting to frame the challenge as a sign of Connor’s desperation. They point to Connor’s last filing, which showed his campaign finances in the red, and said in a press release that “Connor’s challenge is not only indicative of why he is part of the problem in Albany, but also a sign that he has resorted to acts of desperation to protect his seat.”

“I had $30,000 on hand at the time they were showing a negative balance,” argued Connor, who says he has between $40,000-$50,000 in his campaign account. “In fact I had on hand, but for Ken’s last minute loan, I had on hand, I think $1,000 more then he would have had on hand if he didn’t lend his committee $233,000 the day before the filing cut off.

“So that’s what you would expect from a carpetbagger, somebody who’s never lived in the district until you know, if you give him, if you say he is correct, he’s only lived in the district what? What is it now? Seven months? He’s only lived in the district for eight or nine months. I’ve lived in the district for 36 years, so of course there’s a difference in familiarity and knowledge of the issues.”

—Nicole Brydson