Judge rules Teachout eligible to run in Democratic primary against Cuomo

Aug 11, 2014

An attempt by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's supporters to get his Democratic primary opponent, Zephyr Teachout, off of next month's ballot has been thwarted.

Teachout has been declared eligible to run on the ballot next month. A Brooklyn judge issued the decision Monday afternoon, quashing arguments made by Cuomo supporters who say Teachout did not met New York's five-year residency requirement. They argued that she had a Vermont driver's license until this spring and spent the majority of her time there.

Before the decision was announced, Teachout told public radio station WXXI in Rochester that she meets the residency requirement.

"I've been paying income tax here for five years," Tecahout explained. "I've paid every year for the last five years. I've been living here for five years. So if you look into the facts, I think you'll -- you know I don't have a problem with the law, I have a problem with him bringing me to court, because it's basically a frivolous lawsuit wasting taxpayers money."

Teachout also explained that she made a mistake on her taxes, but it was quickly corrected.

"My tax returns say half a year in North Carolina, and then I have inconsistent -- I clearly made a mistake because I said that I lived in the Lower East Side," Teachout said. "And then just answering a question, how many years in New York, I answered zero. But there's nowhere else I lived. I went to an accountant when I was considering this run. He pointed it our and we fixed it."

Teachout, a Fordham Law School professor, says she's lived in New York since 2009, when she took her teaching job. She says the lawsuit shows how strong her campaign against Cuomo is.

"He's clearly paying a great deal of attention, and the best explanation of that is that he's scared of what a real Democratic primary looks like," Teachout explained. "Because, in fact, he's governed like a republican and not like a Democrat."

Cuomo supporters can still appeal the judge's ruling. Democratic voters go to the polls Sept. 9.