GOP Congressman Michael Grimm lost the Independence Party’s ballot line when he did not turn in enough valid signatures from voters in the district, but he appealed the decision arguing that a systemic problem with the Board of Elections unfairly placed obstacles in his signature-gathering efforts. However, this afternoon, the judge ruled against Mr. Grimm and he will remain off that section of the ballot, according to two Democratic tipsters closely following the race.
“We feel we have strong, strong grounds,” former borough president Guy Molinari, a top adviser to Mr. Grimm’s campaign, initially told the Staten Island Advance. “We’re talking about something very serious.”
Their campaign contended that due to the surprising number of congressional candidates who were kicked off the Independence Party line this cycle — including a number of incumbents from across the state — the judge should reconsider the Board of Election’s initial ruling.
It’s not immediately clear if Mr. Grimm’s campaign intends to continue pressing their case legally, but it seems much more likely than not that the Independence line on the ballot will be blank this November as Mr. Grimm battles Democratic challenger Mark Murphy.
Mr. Murphy will also be running under the Working Families Party’s banner while Mr. Grimm still has the Conservative Party’s designation.
The two campaigns were not immediately available for comment.
Update: Mr. Murphy’s campaign confirms the result with the following comment from their spokesman Nathan Smith:
“Hopefully, this ruling will end Michael Grimm’s sloppy and doomed effort to stay on the Independence line by wasting the court’s time and the taxpayers’ money. And regardless of this ruling, no amount of fancy legal footwork by Mr. Grimm to save his so-called ‘game-changer’ could change the fact that he votes against his own constituents, voted against Social Security and against Medicare; and has ongoing scandals that have eroded what little trust the voters had placed in him.”