Republican 4th District Assembly candidate Shirley Lovett is seeking to have a court reconsider its earlier decision to allow Democrats to choose the 4th District Assembly representative after election results declaring Democrat Gabriela Mosquera the winner were declared invalid.
In a brief filed with the Superior Court, Lovett claims precedent would allow for the party of the last official elected to the office to choose Mosquera’s replacement.
That official would be Republican Domenick DiCicco, who was booted from the district as a result of the legislative reapportionment process and was later defeated in his 3rd District bid. According to Lovett attorney Matt Wolf, that should allow the GOP to choose the replacement.
According to Wolf, the state Constitution’s definition of an incumbent is the last person elected to the office, in this case DiCicco, and that the Constitution allows the incumbent’s party to choose the successor.
The position would be filled until next November, when a special election would be held to fill the final year of the term.
“It is clear that Paul Moriarty was an incumbent who ran for and was successful at being re-elected to the Fourth District General Assembly,” Wolf writes in his brief. “It is clear, then, that Respondent Gabriela Mosquera was running for an office previously held by Dominick (sic) DiCicco, a Republican Assemblyman. Respondent was never elected and is Constitutionally barred from holding office at this time.”
Mosquera’s candidacy was declared invalid by Superior Court Judge George Leone because she did not meet the one-year district residency requirement. An Appellate Court later granted Mosquera emergency relief, declaring that she had a good chance of having the decision overturned on appeal and paving the way for her to be sworn in Tuesday.
Minutes before the swearing in, the Supreme Court overturned the appeals court stay and blocked the swearing in. Attorneys for both candidates are preparing for the case to go before the high court.
In a reponse filed with the court, attorney William Tambussi, who is representing Mosquera, said Lovett cannot return to the trial court while the matter is under review by the Supreme Court.