Zephyr Teachout addressed a crowd of roughly two dozen supporters on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall before heading into court to face Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s challenge of her New York State residency.
The Fordham University professor reiterated her attacks on Mr. Cuomo, who she claims has behaved like a Republican in office. Ms. Teachout cast the Cuomo camp’s claims that she lived in her native Vermont in the past half-decade, and thus does not meet the five-year residency requirement to run for governor in New York State, as an effort to avoid a discussion of his tenure in office.
“There isn’t supposed to be a debate about his record the last four years,” Ms. Teachout told her cheering supporters, insisting that her long-shot bid for Albany would be a success. “I am happy to be in court because we are going to beat him in court, and then we are going to beat him in the primary.”
She also hit the governor for the ongoing federal investigation into his aides’ interference in the anti-corruption Moreland Commission, and for his lack of visibility following a New York Times report detailing how his staffers demanded the panel drop subpoenas directed to groups tied to Mr. Cuomo.
“I promise that if I’m ever in the hot seat, I will answer the tough questions, not go into hiding!” she said.
A source close to the campaign said that they did not expect a decision for several days, and anticipated that the first appearance in court would be spent most fighting some of the Cuomo team’s subpoenas, which request access to her medical history and other highly personal information. The insider said, however, that all documents would show Ms. Teachout had been a consistent New York resident since 2009.
Ms. Teachout’s petitions show no committee on vacancies–a panel of allies who would pick a replacement should anything befall the candidate–and so a successful challenge would leave just her running mate Tim Wu facing the official ticket of Mr. Cuomo for governor and former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul for lieutenant governor in September. Her campaign claimed this omission was intentional.
“It’s because we’re not losing, that’s how confident we are,” said campaign manager Mike Boland, who left his post as organizing director for the Working Families Party to work for Ms. Teachout. “We want the governor to embarrass himself in court.”